Broadcasters should shine light on those making a difference

Young Professionals

Our world is experiencing unprecedented times, and as broadcasters we have a unique role in helping our communities to both stay informed and to process the huge amounts of new information that seem to be coming in nonstop. In the month of September, our communities are experiencing back to school, and that looks different from community to community, and even from school to school. Many families are facing brand new challenges such as virtual- or home-schooling for the first time and adjusting to part-time in-person school schedules. Others are facing the realities of making hard choices like sending their children to school even though they don’t feel comfortable, simply because of the demands of their work schedule, or staying home to protect compromised immune systems even though it means sacrificing a needed paycheck.

As broadcasters, we have the ability to provide security and stability to our communities. Our morning programs continue to run with the same familiar, beloved personalities. Our audiences can tune into the news and weather and the same times as always. Our listeners and viewers can join the conversation with us on-air or online, and feel connected to the community. Our advertisers are relying on us to get out their often-changing messages about hours and protocols, and our community members are turning to us to find out the latest developments.

How do we help our communities to keep moving forward through a year that has felt truly endless? We continue to promote community togetherness and highlight the ways people are helping each other. In my community, we’ve seen an up-and-coming local food bank do weekly food drops, serving a portion of our community that is not food-stable. We’ve had businesses buy advertising for smaller businesses and local nonprofits so that they could continue to get their messages out. We’ve seen one local restaurant purchase products from other local businesses and give them away to their customers with every to-go order, and we’ve seen a local caterer provide free meals to essential workers and anyone in need. This is just a tiny bit of what we’ve seen locally, and I can only imagine what each of you has seen in your communities. We support these actions, we highlight these actions, we join these actions as we’re able to. We shine a light on the good in our communities so that people continue to remember.

I encourage you to take a few moments today to consider how you are uniquely positioned within your community, and how you can continue to use that position to keep people informed, united, and hopeful.

Terry Stevenson
Seehafer Broadcasting, Manitowoc