Local Advisory Board adventures and resolutions in Houston, D.C., Los Angeles, and New York
HOUSTON (Jan 10,2001)
Tonight, Pacifica activists, community listeners and KPFT station staff met for the first time in recent memory, resulting in the first ever open house for ALL listeners of KPFT. This historic moment came on the back of the Houston interim Local Advisory Board (iLAB) meeting to discuss a resolution making the iLAB the official KPFT LAB. Other issues, such as appointing a General Manager and issues of community voting were discussed. But the big moment came when interim General Manager Jim Brickwell stated "I've been in radio for 30 years, I've been an interim GM at several stations. I don't want to do programming, I don't want to be the permanent manager, I want you all to tell me what you need." The iLAB, including Dan Jones, Deb Shafto, Duane Bradley, and others decided to hold the next LAB meeting in the station, something that hadn't been done in over 5 years according to former programmer Otis McClay.
The agreement to hold the meeting in the station triggered the idea of an open house, open to the listening public. The crowd of over 50 people clapped and cheered, most of whom had never heard a word concerning the fight to reclaim Pacifica, only aware that they had be made unwelcome at the station. At least a dozen former staff and programmers told of their years at the station and how they were driven off or left because they couldn't stomach the changes occurring under the then new management of Garland Ganter.
After listeners professed ignorance of the struggle iLAB members and KPFT staff agreed to produce a program taken from this weekends Pacifica National Board meeting. The hour long show will be played several times next week to give listeners an accurate accounting of the battle to reclaim Pacifica. The GM asked for a written statement concerning next Fridays meeting so that he could produce an announcement.
Calls went out for audience members to submit their programming ideas to the growing list of new proposals. Former programmer Torry Mercer stated "I haven't seen this kind of energy since I was a 16 year old volunteer programmer in 1976!" Mercer had already submitted proposals for a Beat Poetry gig and a show covering youth oriented issues regarding proactive solutions to teen problems.
The meeting adjourned at 9pm but activists and listeners mixed with staff for 45 minutes until venue operator Ted Weisgal closed up shop. The spirit of cooperation was the theme for the night as old time staff mixed with new staff, street activists and hopeful listeners, jubilant at the possibilities which lay ahead. Deb Shafto said it best, "I can't believe what I'm seeing, this is amazing!"
Hep Ingham, Houston
Whereas the station manager of WPFW has displayed abundant unprofessional behavior; has shown a lack of respect for the listeners; has censored programming; has rebuffed innumerable efforts on the part of the Local Advisory Board to forum a dialogue and move the station and the network forward to serve the listener/members with crucial information; has continued to ignore critical events happening in the nation's capital and around the world, the station manager must be suspended and new management dedicated to the peace and justice mission of Pacifica must be put in place as quickly as possible.
This Monday, WPFW again censored from its "Democracy Now" broadcast crucial history of the Pacifica struggle. WPFW must finally stop censoring "Democracy Now."
There must be a regular, uncensored forum on WPFW where the LAB can address and listen to the members and other listeners to ensure regular dialogue. The LAB must be able to meet at the station. LAB meetings must be prominently announced on the station's air, including Community Needs Assessment meetings.
There is currently no regular local news program on WPFW. There should be extensive local news on WPFW.
WPFW does not systematically promote progressive events, as a matter of fact, it has lately been paying tribute to the CIA in one of its on-air carts. Events such as the IMF/World Bank protests, the inauguration protests and the upcoming Black Voices for Peace events around Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in Washington, D.C. should be heavily promoted and covered by WPFW on a regular basis.
WPFW should have an extensive internship program that reaches out to youth and other under-served populations in the Washington area which trains them in media skills.
In addition to those banned and fired at other stations, especially WBAI, many programmers have been banned and fired at WPFW. Recently banned/fired programmers must be allowed to return, notably Cece Modupe Fadope, former host of "African Perspectives," producer Fahima Seck and host Brother Ah. Additionally, national programs such as FAIR's "CounterSpin," hosted by Janine Jackson, have been purged and must be restored.
PNN news does not regularly cover in a probing way the news of the world, as "Democracy Now" does. Its reporters rarely go to news conferences at the White House, State Department, Pentagon, etc. and ask the tough questions. Pacifica must have a major news infrastructure that does real muckraking in Washington D.C.
The iPNB must create the structures to ensure that the executive director follows the directives of the national board.
the kpfk lab met wednesday eve at the peace center in l.a. in the space that it usually uses when it meets there. the usual attendance is anywhere from a low of 8 to a high of about 20-30 people.
the room was packed, standing room only, for over 170 people. more people could not enter the room and those standing outside left after a while. that was unfortunate, but there was no way that the lab could know that schubb's scurrilous breaktime announcements and the reaction to the infamous cooper/fertig "debate" would pull in so many people. rather than demand the resignation of the lab members as they were asked by the kpfk thugs to do, these new people were able to learn more about the pacifica situation than they ever dreamed. the kpfk lab must be congratulated for their even-handedness in the handling of this meeting. a truly historic meeting for l.a. i will leave the actual content of the meeting to be reported by the lab secretary.
there will be a community forum at a larger venue to include a report back from the iPNB among other items.
on Saturday, January 19, 2002 from 1pm - 5pm (doors open at noon)
parking on-site is $3 (enter parking from S. Albany St.) there may be street parking available
for listener empowerment & accountability to the listeners,
You'll note in the agenda of the IPNB this entry for Saturday 1/12/02: `
4:45 - 5:15 pm "Gag Rule" Evening - visit to WBAI, followed by reception with LAB and listeners groups
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