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WGHN/WMPA Puts COVID-19 Pandemic Front and Center

WGHN’s Mary Ellen Murphy and Jake Draugelis

WGHN-AM/FM and WMPA-FM (Grand Haven) has been making sure their listeners are informed about the reality of COVID-19, both in terms of the seriousness of the threat it represents and in making sure people understand that everyone has the power to fight the disease.

The WGHN Morning Show “Good Morning Grand Haven” has focused on local and state issues and has featured Congressional representatives, local mayors and business leaders, as well as officials from the Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa County Health Department, North Ottawa Community Health. They have engaged in discussions about voting, local food availability, Red Cross, charitable needs, have aired Governor Whitmer’s press conferences live AND played music.

WGHN-FM switched to all Christmas music on 92.1 for two days in April. In May and June, the station will feature local elementary school teachers reading books to children on the air. “Good Morning Grand Haven” also has concentrated on helping people stay at home by making it as much fun as possible. Hosts Mary Ellen Murphy and Jake Draugelis laugh, share fun stories from around the county and play music for those stuck at home to stop the spread of the disease. For listeners that can do more, Mary Ellen and Jake share when, where and how people can donate to help those in need.

The WGHN News department recognized early the parallels between essential workers and the military. Both are generally low paying jobs that are absolutely crucial for the country to run, and are at times dangerous. The key difference is that essential workers did not necessarily know that their job would become dangerous, and it has not been part of our culture to praise people who work for minimum wage. News Director Jake Draugelis has made it a point to shift that culture, ending every news broadcast with one group mentioned and a sincere “Thank you for your service.”

Audio Examples of COVID-19 Coverage:

WGHN Good Morning Grand Haven interview with Spring Lake Village President Mark Powers:

WGHN Congressman Bill Huizenga interview on Coronavirus:

WGHN Kristina Weighmink Ottawa County Department of Public Health interview:

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