NOVEMBER 12

Media Relations

If there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. PHILIPPIANS 4:8

Some time ago, I was working at home during a weekday and flipped on the television to check the weather. What popped on instead was one of those midday talk shows about some sleazy topic.

It shocked me. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

In fact, I dropped what I was doing and called the director of the local station that was airing the program. I was careful to be very kind and not beat the guy up verbally. He listened to me for a few minutes but gave me little in the way of a satisfactory answer for why he would promote such questionable content. So I followed up my telephone complaint with a letter, challenging him to do the right thing as a business leader, as a father, as a man morally responsible for what he broadcast into the community. Here's some of what he wrote back:

Many of the programs aired on television are not to the taste of my family either, and we, like you, choose not to watch them. However, one of the things I fear most of all in any form of communication is censorship, and the Nielsen ratings are a true test of what most viewers want or do not want to watch.

As weak (and utterly predictable) as his response was, I fear that too many of us are no different. We may disagree with the shows our teenagers like to watch or the music they listen to or the movies they enjoy. But we don't want to cause too much of a fuss or appear too overbearing. We're not sure it's a good way to spend our parental capital.

But the shows that reach out to our kids through the television or computer screens are shaping their minds, defining what's normal, deceiving their hearts. It's you—not Nielsen—who knows what's right.

DISCUSS

Evaluate the viewing habits of your family and children. Is there something that concerns you?

PRAY

Knowing He has placed you in this position of responsibility, ask for both the courage and tools to address the problem.  

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