Dear Community Members:
We would like to invite each of you to sign a new petition (http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-local-businesses-to-withdraw-their-associations-from-wfrn) to WFRN advertisers. We appreciate your time and attention to this endeavor.
What action we want to see
We are asking WFRN advertisers to immediately cancel their advertising with and distance their company from WFRN radio station. We ask that they withdraw all associations until WFRN produces an acceptable policy on responsible journalistic standards. In addition, we hope these companies will strongly encourage the station to apologize for the negative effect it had on our community.
We understand that action at this level is harder on some businesses than others - particularly small businesses. Please consider this as you add your message to the petition. We appreciate all the businesses who are receiving this letter and do not intend to use it as a call to boycott any local business.
Why this is important
Many of us know that there are three participants in any bullying event or circumstance - the bully, the victim, and the witnesses. In this case, WFRN has been the bully, community dialog and our political process has been the victim, and the people of the community are the witnesses.
If one were to remove ‘politics’ from WFRN’s actions and insert any family member or organization in it’s place, it’s easy to see the damage that can happen. Suppose you, your daughter, son, sister, brother, spouse, or your business did something that Doug Moore, the station manager at WFRN, did not like. Would we, as a community, feel comfortable with the station using it’s broad platform to target people that we know? It would be unthinkable, but WFRN has tread onto that slippery slope and as community members, we have a responsibility to hold them accountable.
Witnesses are the most effective party when standing up to bullies. And so, we, as community witnesses, stand up to WFRN.
Who’s on the list
We have identified many responsible community partners that we would like to incorporate into this campaign. Our purpose in identifying these companies is not to punish or judge them, but to give them an opportunity to stand with us in voicing our disapproval in WFRN’s actions. Advertisers who will receive this letter include:
- Matterns Deli
- Interra Credit Union
- Edward Jones
- Swiss Valley Ski Resort
- Martins Super Markets
- Sorg Jewelers
- Concord Mall
- Elkhart Memorial
- Penguin Point
- Goshen Plumbing and Heating*
* Update (11/14): Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary discontinued advertising with WFRN last week and has signed this petition. They have been removed from the recipient list. Thank you, AMBS, for standing with us!
* Update (11/15): Goshen Plumbing and Heating has discontinued advertising with WFRN as of Sunday. They have been removed from the recipient list. Thank you, GPH, for standing with us! Please know that GPH indicated that they were getting many emails from out of state. We will be sending the csv file that has the list of Goshen and surrounding area signers to them along with our thank you.
Sign the petition
Please add your name to this petition to send the message that you reject the intentional dividing of our community and will not accept any further ‘targeting’ for whatever reason.
Personalize your statement
Do you have a personal connection to the organizations listed above? Do you shop at Martins Super Markets? Do you live at or have a family member at Greencroft? Do you have an account at Interra? Do you own a business locally?
Please mention any affiliations that you have with current WFRN advertisers and the Goshen Community at large in your email signature. Doug Moore, WFRN’s station manager, has openly dismissed signers of a previous petition by characterizing us as ‘a handful of people’ and ‘organizers from California’ (Goshen News, Nov 12, 2011). Let their advertisers know that you are a living, breathing member of our community and what their company’s dollars support is important to you.
Please also THANK the companies for standing with us. They likely do not want to get involved in a political debate and they are trying to balance their advertising needs and their customers values.
Share with others
After you have signed and sent the petition, you will be prompted to ‘share’ it. We encourage you to send a note to 5, 10 or 100 friends explaining why you support this effort and how much their support would mean. Encourage them to do the same with their friends! For even more exposure, post a link to the petition on your personal Facebook page and any page of which you are an administrator. Please focus on sharing with friends and family within the WFRN listening area or with contacts that are invested in our community’s reputation.
If the links above do not work, please copy and paste these addresses into your browser:
For audio clip of WFRN's 'news' ad: http://tinyurl.com/6qnre9n or http://soundcloud.com/goshguy-1/wfrn-fm-trans-gender-political
For contact information for WFRN advertisers: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aj-0BnqD-SP_dHFmRDV5elpmZHRROGtxVXVjaklTaVE#gid=0
- Director of Marketing - Swiss Valley Ski Resort
- Director of Marketing and Advertising - Menards
- President - Sorg Jewelers
- Vice President of Operations - Goodwill of Michiana
- Advertising Manager - Martins Super Markets
- Director of Marketing - Interra Credit Union
- Vice President of Operations - Goodwill of Michiana
- Penguin Point
- General Manager - Concord Mall
Robert L. Thatcher
- Marketing Manager - Concord Mall
- Vice President - Sorg Jewelers
- President - Elkhart Memorial
Gregory W. Lintjer
- Director of Marketing - Elkhart Memorial
Danielle A. Dyer
- Chief Executive Officer - Greencroft
Community for Responsible Community Journalism
I just signed the following petition addressed to: WFRN Advertisers
Please withdraw your company's associations with WFRN
I am asking that you immediately cancel your advertising with and distance your company from WFRN radio station. Please withdraw all associations until WFRN produces an acceptable policy on responsible journalistic standards. In addition, I hope you will strongly encourage the station to apologize for the negative effect it had on our community.
WFRN, a local Christian radio station, inserted itself into Goshen’s municipal elections by airing 'news' that was not grounded in fact, potentially slanderous, and to which none of the people who were called out by name could respond.
You and other members of your company can listen to the ‘news-ad’ here: http://tinyurl.com/6qnre9n (copy and paste into your browsers address bar).
WFRN broadcast variations of this ‘news-ad’ on air twice an hour, every hour for three days prior to and throughout our election day, essentially promoting hate and fear as a reason to vote for the Republican candidates. I am not asking that you agree or disagree with the content of the message, but that you join us in denouncing it as a political smear campaign that should not be condoned from a news source in our community.
Many of us have tried to have a direct conversation with WFRN and the station manager, Doug Moore, only to be dismissed at every attempt. Numerous calls to WFRN did not prompt them to retract the misinforming news (ads) and those who wanted to respond on the station’s Facebook page had comments deleted or were banned from commenting at all. Mr. Moore, in particular, has belittled our concerns and openly dismissed signers of a previous petition by characterizing us as ‘a handful of people’ and ‘organizers from California’ (Goshen News, Nov 12, 2011). When the first petition closed, there were 94 signers, most of whom currently live in Goshen and the surrounding area.
We are calling for WFRN to produce an acceptable policy on responsible journalistic standards to ensure that they hold themselves accountable to the high standards of reporting that their listeners expect. WFRN has a powerful platform to reach many members of our community. If this kind of irresponsible reporting goes unchecked, it could have a devastating impact on any person or organization that they choose to ‘target’.
Finally, I regret that your company has been brought into this issue, but I believe that those who advertise on WFRN - you - may be the only way to send a clear message to the station that this political ad campaign is not appropriate or appreciated. Locally-supported companies like yours should not be associated with the intentional dividing of our community.
I sincerely appreciate the presence you have in our community and hope that you will join me in holding WFRN responsible for their actions. You are invited to also sign this petition (located at http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-local-businesses-to-withdraw-their-associations-from-wfrn), which will be sent to other businesses in our area who advertise with WFRN.
Committee for Responsible Community Journalism started this petition with a single signature, and now has 331 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.