By Al Menconi, Menconi Ministries, 760-591-4696
September 1998 – Many of our readers have expressed concern with the influence of today’s entertainment media on their families and have mentioned to me that they would like to“give them a piece of my mind.” Before you fly off the handle (and maybe do worse damage), I’d like to share something with you.
Christians have a higher calling than merely cleaning up the entertainment industry. We are to glorify Christ in everything we do. If you spend more time confronting the “opposition” than you spend confronting the throne of God, your priorities are wrong! The following is given with the assumption that you have already committed the matter to much prayer. This excellent advice was written by my friend Larry Poland at Mastermedia. I believe you will find it helpful.
TEN COMMANDMENTS OF MEDIA RESPONSE
1. Thou shalt respond to the creators of media. Let the creators of film, TV, radio, and print media know your convictions. Silence is a vote in favor of whatever media creators do. Express appreciation as well as concern.
2. Thou shalt indicate clearly the position or perspective from which you write. Declare if you are writing as “a parent,” “a victim of child abuse,” or “a company president.” If you use business letterhead (with company clearance, of course), tell whether the views are yours or the organization’s.
3. Thou shalt communicate to the top of the structure. Address the person with the power to do something about the issue. Direct your communication to the corporation president, station manager, editor, or program director. Secure the person’s name by calling the local affiliate or outlet.
4. Thou shalt get right to the point. Keep communication short and concise so that a busy executive will give it the proper attention. Address a single situation or incident, not a collection of frustrations. Type or write legibly. Keeping stamped postcards handy is helpful.
5. Thou shalt be specific as to the details. “Clean up the trash” and “keep up the good work” are not useful responses. Specify what you are responding to, where it appeared, at what time and date, what you considered offensive or admirable, and the reasons behind your response. You can’t be too specific.
6. Thou shalt be positive and courteous. Media executives, just like you, don’t appreciate being “bombed.” Acknowledge the difficulty of their tasks. Be respectful, courteous, and avoid profanity or negatively-charged words that attack the person’s character.
7. Thou shalt avoid talking “Christianese.” Many media executives are not Christians. Avoid theological or ecclesiastical lingo, long Scripture quotations, condemnations of their religious viewpoint, or attempts to convert them. If you desire to share your faith, do so in a separate communication.
8. Thou shalt be reasonable. It is good to give reasons why you felt the media content was unwise, irresponsible, inappropriate, admirable, excellent, or noteworthy. Don’t just vent feelings and frustrations.
9. Thou shalt pray about your response. Pray for God’s guidance, for a positive reception of your response, and for the executive receiving it. If you are angry, let your anger subside before responding. “Sleep on” written responses before sending.
10. Thou shalt follow up your response. Respond again if an offense continues or you do not receive an adequate response. Express thanks for removing offensive material, for apologies, for sending you helpful information, etc.
In conclusion, don’t forget that you are representing Jesus Christ. Is this action something He would want
you to do?