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Press Club Mission Statement: To facilitate
career advancement among professionals in
communications by building relationships,
keeping current on industry trends and
encouraging excellence among future
Submitted by Tracy E. Price, President,
Delaware County Press Club
October, 2017. The Press Club of Delaware County held their
monthly meeting, on this occasion, a Happy Hour, entitled "The
Press... Our Message & Momentum." Featured, our emcee of
the evening, Debbi Calton, DJ, WMGK; Special guests, Jack
Whelan, Delaware County District Attorney; and Joe Daly,
Springfield Police Chief and Vice President of the Delaware
County Veterans Memorial, all spoke to the importance of law
and order; health, safety and community;
and the Press and their responsibility to the
public. A Blessing, inspirational words, and
song were offered by Father Jim DeGrassa
and Pastor Rose Sparrow Melton.
Debbi Calton, DJ, WMGK... The
Significance of Radio Communication and
the Message in Music. Recently, we awoke
reeling to the news of the largest mass
shooting ever in the US. One day later we
got the devastating news of Tom Petty's
death. In those two days, the role that live,
local radio played in our listeners' day-today lives was truly reinforced to me.
For the actual news aspect of the
Vegas shootings, many turned to traditional
news sources: established newspapers, TV
networks, KYW. On the music radio side,
we played a different role. We were taking
phone calls from people in shock. We were
adjusting our music to be sensitive to what had just happened. We
suspended a contest that we were doing and in its place, donated
the $5000 that we would have given out that day to a fund set
up to help the victims. Our job that day was not so much about
informing, it was about listening, sharing, and providing an outlet
for those who did not know where to turn.
The following day, we were stunned to hear the news that
confirmed Tom Petty had passed away. It was a highly emotional
day for our listeners and air staff. It was a very personal loss for
rock fans and we did our best to accommodate the many requests
that were coming through. We took the time to talk to everyone
who called in as we shared our grief. Again, we monitored the

music for sensitivity. We do not want these kinds of days but it
is with these days that radio shines, particularly live and local
radio. It is the sharing, providing a place for people to turn when
they do not know what to do with their grief, and of course, the
healing power of music. That is the power and importance of
One last note, those of us in the media are expected to be
impartial and objective and to get the facts right, and rightly
so, but it has been discouraging lately to see how the press, in
general, IN GENERAL, has been vilified for what is deemed
FAKE NEWS! It seems that when a fact or viewpoint other than
the viewers' or listeners' or readers' is put forth, FAKE NEWS
becomes the knee jerk rallying cry. Particularly in this day and
age where anyone can post something on social media and post
it to be the truth, it is extremely important to separate what is
real and what is not. I hope that all of us here can continue to
validate the crucial need for a free and open press that honors and
reinforces the 1st Amendment. In my mind, that should be one of
the primary concerns of any of us in the press.
Featured Speaker: John J. "Jack" Whelan,
Delaware County District Attorney... "Growing
up and residing in Delaware County is my
privilege and the protection of our community
will always be my number one priority." Jack
Whelan spoke of law and order; health and public
safety, service to the community, and leadership
and public service.
John J. "Jack" Whelan was elected Delaware
County District Attorney in November 2011 and
took office in January 2012 for a four-year term.
He was re-elected District Attorney in November
2015 to serve a second four-year term. District
Attorney Whelan has been dedicated to criminal
justice and law enforcement from the time he was
in college, majoring in criminal justice at Temple
University, to his term on Delaware County
Council where he made public safety a priority.
Mr. Whelan is a respected practicing
attorney for over 30 years and led the firm of
Whelan, Doyle & Pressman LLC in the area of
civil litigation, municipal representation, and decedent estates.
Before becoming District Attorney, Mr. Whelan served as
Chairman of Delaware County Council, which oversees the
county government operations that serve the 550,000 residents of
Delaware County. As Council Chairman, he partnered with the
District Attorney's Office on many crime prevention initiatives,
such as the Senior Exploitation Unit and the Safe Schools
Summit, and in 2010, he helped establish the Delaware County
Veterans Justice Initiative with the goal of establishing a Veterans
Treatment Court to address the post-service needs of veterans
who land in the criminal justice system.
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