To: The Community of Cordova and the Audience of “Town Meeting”

Fm: J.R. Lewis

Re: Principle, Policy, and Procedure
 

KLAM's "Town Meeting" talk show is a caller driven “open forum” program.  The show will always deal with ANY issues brought to us by our callers and authors.

The show's primary purposes are (1) providing information and (2) promoting understanding in the community.

Contributors are free to provide or withhold their names as their conscience dictates.  I am fully aware of the possibility that discomfort may be created for some by this allowance, but I also recognize the potential for harm to those who feel they have no voice in a small town if disclosure of their identity is required.  Both possibilities have the potential for positive and/or negative consequences; however, it is my conclusion that because the show is an OPEN FORUM, multiple “sides” of any given issue have an EQUAL CHANCE to respond, anonymously or not.  Thus, this model maximizes the chances for openness and fairness.

NOTE: Those who anonymously participate in writing may not have their material included if they insist on remaining anonymous from me.  While I do NOT have to divulge your identity on the air, I DO have to know who you are and how I can contact you so I can share your information responsibly, ask you potentially pertinent questions before revealing your information. and be able to follow up with you if necessary.

At the request of the community at large, effective 3/17/2004, local controversies will be treated with the following special consideration.

Issues may be classified, at my discretion, as a “controversy” (for the purposes of the show) if the following conditions apply:
    -- there are clearly 2 or more distinct “sides”
    -- the tone of the issues clearly sets Cordovan(s) against Cordovan(s)
    -- the potential for personal attack against individuals or groups is clearly high

NOTE: Rules for elections to public office are covered by federal guidelines which take precedence over this policy.

Should a potentially divisive, non-election issue be raised, I may “officially” declare the issue to be a "controversy" in order to activate the policies below.  I reserve the exclusive right to make such a judgment.

If I declare an issue to be a “controversy” as defined above, then the following limits on participation will be immediately implemented:
    -- “Open Phones” will not extend past 11am
    -- The controversy will be open for discussion for three consecutive shows, starting with and including the first show in which it is declared a controversy.  After those days, no more on air discussion will be considered unless a named guest joins me in the studio and is willing to accept calls/emails from the audience.
    -- During the three days of “open phones” allotted for discussing a controversy, I will not initiate discussion of that subject.  The topic must be brought up by a caller or emailer.  And once the topic is raised that day, I will remind the audience how many days remain to discuss the issue.
    -- During the three days of “open phones” allotted for discussing a controversy, callers and emailers will not be restricted to comment only on the controversy.  Anyone is welcome to bring up other issues (unless a guest is present).
    -- Emails exceeding 1 standard page on my studio terminal (approx. 500 words) will not be read.  Anyone wishing to make a statement more detailed than that will need to join me as a named guest in the studio, and be willing to accept calls/emails from the audience.
    -- No one may send more than 2 emails per show.  After that, a person must call in to continue participating.
    -- In situations where air time for a controversy has run out, the audience is still welcome to call me or email me to discuss the issue OFF the air, as my schedule permits, for the purpose of helping me to better understand their side.  However, there should be NO expectation that the contents of any such discussions will make it to the air.
    -- In circumstances where I determine special measures need to be taken -- such as either shortening or lengthening the time allotted for a controversy, or allowing a topic to be revisited in light of new information -- I reserve the right to implement those measures.  Such authority lies solely with me, and will be exercised at my discretion only.
    -- In any instance where an individual or group wishes to continue promoting a particular “side” of a controversy beyond the time provided under this policy, those folks are welcome to purchase advertising at our published rates, and will be held to all applicable laws/rules.

Based on community feedback and requests, this policy reflects Cordova's desire to maintain the right of people to have their say on controversial issues, while at the same time preventing such controversies from dominating the program for excessive periods of time.

Nothing in this statement of principle, policy, and procedure is intended to, nor will it, limit, encroach upon, or affect in any way my absolute and ultimate authority and responsibility to determine what goes out over the air, or my judgment to exercise that authority and responsibility, even in a manner that may be inconsistent with the policies and procedures in this statement.

As always, your questions or comments on this policy are welcome at townmeeting@cordovaradio.com.

Best Regards,

J.R Lewis
President/General Manger
Host of “Town Meeting”
AM 1450, KLAM in Cordova