The Organization of Independent Radio Syndicators, Networks, Journalists and New Media Companies, has formed in the wake of the TRN lawsuit against Dial-Global, et al:
Says William Crawford (TRN COO), the founding President: “Today, I am proud to announce a new non-profit organization designed to assist the community of independent radio syndicators, networks, journalists and new media companies. We have discovered an amazing kinship with most everyone we have spoken with about the issues this organization addresses. When the idea for creating this organization was finally floated about, the response was so overwhelmingly positive that we have molded the attached Mission Statement and Statement of Purpose out of the very input of the independents we have spoken with. The main purpose of the organization is to provide educational information and other support to its membership.”
Mark Masters, the founding Chairman of the Board for the new organization, adds: “Our purpose is not to focus on the radio broadcast distributors, which are the customers of our membership. For the most part, the distribution companies out there are great corporate citizens, from Clear Channel to Beasley, to Entercom, to CBS – the feedback on these groups has been very positive.”
Crawford says the new organization will act as an additional support system for the community of independent syndicators, networks, journalists and new media companies. We hope those in the community of independent syndicators, networks, journalists and new media companies that we have not spoken with yet will avail themselves of the opportunity to review our Mission Statement and Statement of Purpose.”
Mission Statement and Statement of Purpose:
For too long independent content producers, such as syndicators and networks representing satellite delivered programs, along with independent news organizations and investigative journalists, have stood alone, subject to the whims of individuals and corporations which see their singular vulnerability of being alone in a tough media environment as a weakness to be exploited.
Without a “back stop” of like minded, free market content/i.p. operators in the radio/media field, such independent content producers have fallen prey all too often to their intellectual property being stolen (either directly or indirectly), their business plans copied and staff being recruited, and their entire company being predatized by those seeking to take advantage of this very real weakness in the highly independent marketplace of independent content producers – be it syndicators, radio networks, investigative reporters or web based creators.
The inevitable result of this process has been a slow breakdown, and ultimate contraction, of independent content/i.p. producers and, with it, destruction of the free marketplace of ideas.
The purpose of this organization is to reverse the process described above – to help support existing independent syndicators, networks, journalists and independent media companies, whether they are 50 years old or start ups, Liberal, Conservative, Urban, Hispanic, niche market or broad based in scope. This organization’s purpose is to hoist such companies on our collective shoulders, and, in doing so, together we say, “All for one, and one for all.” Our purpose is to expand the marketplace of ideas, rather than standing by and watching it contract under the pressure of newly minted monopolies, powerful investors and special interest groups. This organization’s purpose is to act, through deeds, not just words, and help our fellow independent producers live the American Dream through the motto “Even though I may vehemently disagree with what you say, I will fight to the death for you to have the right to say it.”
This is the beginning of our own guiding mission. The rest will come in the form of real assistance to help independent producers have strength and support – from a brain trust of the very best entrepreneurs in the independent content producer community. We will serve as a “back stop” organization which provides support that only a larger collection of independent syndicators, independent networks, investigative journalists and new media creatives working together can collectively provide.
Had Winston Churchill had such an organization behind him, the right kind of pressure would have been brought to bear between the late 1920’s through the late 1930’s, and, as a result, his independent voice, heard free of roadblocks, might have eliminated the sad reality of World War II. Churchill’s voice was virtually silenced by the BBC in Great Britain during those critical years (because the BBC didn’t want Churchill to “offend” the sensibilities of the German people), while Germany’s radio did the opposite. In Germany’s case, the German people of that tragic period were only allowed to hear one toxic point of view. These are two examples of the destruction of freedom of speech – one through suppression (as was the case with Churchill), the other through a singular evil agenda. These examples serve as cautionary tales; a perfect example of why the marketplace of ideas must be made to expand, now, regardless of viewpoint, and not allowed to contract. To this end, we dedicate this organization to Sir Winston Churchill – for had his voice been allowed, “the unnecessary war”, as he called it, might not have been.
Churchill’s story is in some ways the story of the legitimate independent radio syndicators, independent radio networks, investigative journalists and new media companies which now often find themselves intimidated into silence, abused, used and ultimately consumed by a new generation of monopolies and powerful special interests.
With this organization, the marketplace of ideas will expand exponentially and profitably in a free and fair financial marketplace, driven by meritocracy, not monopolies.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
1. To embrace, support and assist (when and where possible) any legitimate producer of independently syndicated programming, radio network creating independent programming and independent news organization or new media company creating such programming (This item one does not encompass financing or financial support, as this is a non-profit and not a financing or equity operation).
2. To abide at all times with and support the laws of the constitution of the United States of America. To honor, protect and support such, as it is this document that underpins the very rights desired to be upheld and nourished by this organization.
3. Within this organization, we will establish a university program to provide education to aspiring on-air talent, investigative journalists, independent syndicators, network executives, new media creatives and sales representation firms. The purpose of this educational service will be to help them to develop and perfect their skill sets as a result of the steep drop off in adequately trained personnel for the critical services required to make the community of independent content providers viable in the future.
4. The future for independent syndicators, networks, new media companies and the sales companies that will represent them must be that healthy competition will always continue to expand the marketplace of ideas, so that the human mind can be challenged to new heights of personal development, innovation, creativity and accomplishment. This can only be achieved by a diversity of ideas available to all, and, in doing so, such diversity and freedom of expression can be preserved.
5. To use the full power of this membership to prosecute anti-competitive acts, fomented by those less ethical than our members, and see that such corporations and/or individuals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
6. To be a “Watchdog” of the Antitrust/Monopoly laws, within the radio/media industry, as was championed by Justice Thurgood Marshall, among others. In recent years a new generation of monopoly or monopoly- like organizations have forgotten these long established principles. This will be stopped. This must be so, so that the future cannot be controlled by a few unelected executives who care not for the principles outlined herein.
7. This organization will make sure we are all playing on a level playing field, based on opportunity and rewarded through merit. This organization cannot and will not attempt to guarantee equality of outcome, but we will fight for equality of opportunity. The free market will decide merit.
8. To support, nourish and embrace a completely inclusive climate in the legitimate marketplace of ideas among our members.
9. Our purpose is not to focus on the radio broadcast distributors, which are the customers of our membership. Certain conditions and restrictions apply for membership participation. Those that promote public or private anarchy or destructive expressions designed to destroy the purpose of this organization, or engaged in business or professional activities inconsistent with this organization’s purposes and mission statement, will not be granted membership.
This organization will have two categories of membership: (i) Sponsoring Members, which will be publicly identified as supporting and promoting the purposes and mission statement of this organization; and (ii) Participating Members, which will be eligible to participate in all programs of this organization and to receive all educational and other supporting information provided generally to the members, without public disclosure of the identity of the Participating Members.