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DAILY REPORTS and Documents | iPNB Berkeley meeting info
On-air policy proposals


Presented at the iPNB meeting in Berkeley June 21 - 23, 2002

June 2002 - Proposed Resolutions by Dave Fertig

Here are my two pending resolutions, followed by a small matter which I believe merits discussion concerning confidentiality of candidates for executive positions and below that, a proposal requested by Leslie Cagan relating to the development of a Personnel Committee. Below that is an appendix re: the Dirty Laundry Rule.

1. Motion: On Air Policy: Revoke "Gag" Rules; Revise "Dirty Laundry Rule" (see appended info at bottom)

"Any past or existing Pacifica or Pacifica Station rule or policy which restricts discussion on the air or otherwise of Pacifica's mission, its principles, processes and/or procedures is hereby revoked and replaced by the following:

It is the policy of Pacifica not to permit the broadcast of personal attacks or personal characterizations, unconsented disclosure of private personnel matters or the abuse of airtime to advance a position in internal station disputes. However, this policy is to be liberally interpreted to allow civil and principled discussion of matters of concern to the Pacifica family, including Pacifica's principles, processes and procedures."
January 12, 2002, by Dave Fertig, iPNB rep., KPFK Local Advisory Board

2. Program Mission Statement

As to each program or series of programs being aired, prepared or proposed for airing on a Pacifica network station, said program's producer and/or programmer is required to provide in advance a writing of less than 500 words explaining how said program (or series) fulfills which section(s) or part(s) of the Pacifica Mission as stated in Article 2 of Pacifica Foundation's articles of incorporation.

This Program Mission Statement is to be submitted once as to each program or series of programs, and is to be provided to both the station Program Director and the Local Advisory Board along with the program proposal. No program may be aired unless said Program Mission Statement is properly provided. If a program substantially changes, a subsequent program Mission Statement may be required by the program Director or a majority of the Local Advisory Board.
June 4, 2002, by Dave Fertig, iPNB rep., KPFK Local Advisory Board

3. Re: Confidentiality of Candidates (especially GM & PD, & of course ED), and the tension 'tween confidentiality for the candidate & the evaluation committee deliberations, and public accountability. A sticky wicket that maybe warrants some iPNB time, maybe 30 minutes? So we may have a publicly discussed and coherent policy to point to one way or another, distinct from the current HR policy that essentially bars any substantive disclosure at all.

I'm embarrassed to raise something so late, but I think some may feel it's sufficiently important to get on the agenda..." 4. Pacifica Personnel Committee: Proposal There shall be formed a Pacifica Personnel Committee consisting of at least one iPNB representative from each signal area. The duties of this committee shall be limited to assessing, reviewing, revising and creating Pacifica personnel policies. Any proposed change in existing policy must come before the interim Pacifica National Board for approval by a majority vote.

(maybe include this language as well?: Among the tasks to be performed by this committee are:

  1. Compile a detailed description of the distribution of staff positions
  2. (paid and unpaid) among the Foundation. With the cooperation and input of managers and staff, review, revise and, where needed, develop comprehensive job descriptions for each staff position within Pacifica.
  3. Develop uniform systems whereby staff positions are posted, advertised, hired and evaluated, including systems of appeal and review.
  4. Assess and develop recommendations concerning the labor relations between Pacifica and the unions representing its employees, including a report on the current status of union contracts.
  5. Develop recommendations for the creation and utilization of local signal area personnel subcommittees.
  6. Review and evaluate Pacifica personnel policies, with recommendations for revision.
    June 4, 2002, by Dave Fertig, iPNB rep., KPFK Local Advisory Board

APPENDIX RE: DIRTY LAUNDRY RULES: BACKGROUND: The current Pacifica "Dirty Laundry Rule" in the Pacifica Manual (Page 13, "In-House Rules") at rule 4 states:

"It is against Pacifica Policy to broadcast internal station disputes. There is no quicker way to kill an audience, and it is totally contradictory to our mission and goals. Our air time is precious and is used for programming - not for airing programmer's grievances or internal station politics. Violation of this policy results in you immediate suspension from the air"

At KPFK, a policy memo was issued February 28, 1996 by Station Mgr. Mark Schubb, the day after he stopped a program mid-sentence in which public meetings were being announced to discuss KPFK and Pacifica policies:

"Dear Programmers and Board ops:

We need your help in honoring KPFK's longstanding policy against airing "dirty laundry," including "event" announcements for that purpose.

Even if the offense is by a guest or a caller, please remember that it is your responsibility to cut it off immediately and to move on.

This is one of the few rules we have at KPFK that will absolutely lead to permanently being removed from the station."

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