An acquaintance wanted an inexpensive way to hear news broadcasts and keep in touch with local friends over a distance not exceeding 5-10 miles. This is what I told him to do.
I first told him to get one of these,
one of these,
and these antennas for the CB.
He later asked about an inexpensive police scanner, analog only, non-trunking.
None of these are top of the line gear, but they get the job done. In this case they enable the user to receive broadcast and non-broadcast radio communications for the purpose of information collection, and enable the user to maintain infrastructure-independent communications with other like-minded individuals who are similarly equipped.
Why CB and not one of those VHF/UHF handhelds?
Past experience with individuals who are not communications savvy has shown that non-techies have an almost impossible time figuring out how to properly program and operate the handhelds. CBs are pretty much plug and play. Bubble-pack handhelds, being FRS/GMRS radios, did not have the necessary range required of the users.
If you're not into radios, and are looking for a working tool, don't get hung up on getting this or that specific thing. Figure out what you need to do, see what's available at a price you can afford, and get it provided it's in good working condition and it's something you can work with.