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"ProjectCensored" by Project Censored - This image has been downloaded from the website of Project Censored at www.projectcensored.org.. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ProjectCensored.png#/media/File:ProjectCensored.pngLUMPENPROLETARIAT—Free speech radio KPFA held its On-Air Forums this week for the 2016 KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) elections, as part of the nationwide Pacifica 2016 Elections.  KPFA’s LSB is a deliberative governing body.  Like other Pacifica Radio LSBs, it is tasked with providing checks and balances to the station management hierarchy as well as helping sustain KPFA through fundraising. [1]

During this On-Air Forum, candidates were supposed to be given equal access in a formal debate fashion.  But any fairness in respective on-air time lengths, especially when only one side showed up for the debate, is overshadowed by the inadequacy of the measly three one-hour broadcasts KPFA devoted to their democratic governance.  KPFA listeners still haven’t been introduced to all of the candidates, as not all of the candidates participated in these three On-Air broadcasts.  If anything, supplemental coverage of the 2016 LSB Elections could have, and must, be made available online for listeners, who are unable to attend any public candidate forums, or simply wish to revisit them to strengthen understanding.

But, instead of a real commitment to media democracy, listeners got the minimum.  These 2016 LSB Candidate Forum broadcasts were not meaningfully announced, advertised, or promoted.  The democratic governance structure doesn’t seem to be embraced by all.  Candidates’, and listeners’, call-ins were restricted to one-minute responses.  Talk about sound-bite format.  And this comes in the context of a free speech radio station, which seems to have long abandoned its Managers Report to the Listeners broadcasts, which were borne of a time when management felt obliged to appear accountable to the listeners.  Managers Report to the Listeners was broadcast every month or so; and the station manager would go live, on air, and address staff and listener-member concerns, including taking calls from the listenership.

During tonight’s broadcast, host Leon Sykes, delivered another generic performance seemingly intended to drain the life out of the democratic process by dragging out every step of the way, forcing callers to repeat their questions, ultimately, wasting more time than otherwise.  Like last night’s broadcast and the night before that, when the host kept insisting on restricting and curtailing the candidates’ and the callers’ participation to under one minute.  And his over-emphasis on the time regulations was often clumsily handled, and often undermined the spirit of the debate. [2]

As we commented before, what was sorely missing from the first LSB Candidate Forum broadcast was a sense of context or historical background to how KPFA and the Pacifica Radio Network came to have a democratic governance structure and why it is so important to protect and sustain.  Even your average KPFA listener may happen upon these LSB Candidate Forum broadcasts and be left wondering:  What exactly is going on?  KPFA listeners deserve to be treated with respect and provided with that crucial information.  Indeed, one listener called in to complain.  “I feel disrespected, as a listener,” she said, as the tongue-tied Mr. Sykes mechanically deferred to the candidate responses.

Callers again explicitly asked for historical context and for differentiation between the two political factions thus far represented: SaveKPFA and United for Community Radio.  Some of the candidates were able to point out that the SaveKPFA slate reflected a political faction, who tended to more ‘top-down’ and authoritarian in their organisational approach.  By contrast, the United for Community Radio slate tended to be more community orientated and grassroots activist-based.

If you’re a free speech radio KPFA listener, and you’ve received a ballot to vote for this next round of candidates to KPFA’s governance board, know that the SaveKPFA slate is toxic to KPFA/Pacifica’s principles of socioeconomic justice, which are enshrined in its Mission Statement.  You may have already gotten that sense, if you heard all three nights of the Candidate Fora.  SaveKPFA represent a clique of people, who have historically associated themselves as Wellstone Democrat partisans with associated moneyed interests, and have attempted to run roughshod over anyone to the left of their centrist circle at KPFA, or anybody who comes to free speech radio with any degree of sincerity and curiosity about the wizards of oz behind the green curtain. [3]  Listen (and/or download) here. [4]

Messina

***

[KPFA archive page programme summary.]  [5]

KPFA—[8 SEP 2016]  Tune in to 94.1 FM or hear it live on kpfa.org or listen later on the archives.  Listeners may call in 510-848-4425, or 800-958-9008 with questions.

Learn more at KPFA.

***

[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and KPFA Radio.]

KPFA —[8 SEP 2016]  [clears throat] “Good evening.  I’m your moderator, Leon Sykes.  You are tuned in to the final day of a three-day Local Station Board Candidate Forums for 2016.  We are currently holding two separate parallel elections for delegates to the KPFA Local Station Board.  Listener members will vote for listener candidates.  Staff members will vote for staff candidates.  There are nine vacant listener and three vacant staff seats on the KPFA Local Station Board.  For more information, you can go to Elections.Pacifica.org.  Ballots must be received by the ballot company, TrueBallot, by September 30th.  Please note:  That is not ‘postmarked by’, but received by TrueBallot by September 30th.  Online voting will end at 8:59 pm Pacific Time on September 30th.

“If you have not received your ballot, please email les-kpfa2016@pacifica.org or call 510.848-6767, extension 605.

“If you have lost, damaged, or misplaced your ballot and need a replacement, please email les-kpfa2016@pacifica.org or call 510.848-6767, extension 605.  [clears throat]  Please let us know whether you would like a paper ballot printed and mailed to you, or whether you are fine with receiving an email with your secure PIN for voting online.

“Candidates were asked to submit up to 500 words when turning in their candidate nomination paperwork.  They were also invited to submit up to 200 words as well as a complete candidate questionnaire, which was optional.

“Those answers can all be found at Elections.Pacifica.org.  In particular, please click on the KPFA candidates’ statements link, Elections.Pacifica.org/wordpress/kpfa-candidates.  (c. 2:52)

“If you would like a candidate pamphlet printed and mailed to you, we need to receive it by—we, we need to receive your request by September 12th [2016].  Please email les-kpfa2016@pacifica.org or call 510.848-6767, extension 605.  Please note:  Candidate pamphlets only include the 200-word statements.  [Last minute ballots can be submitted by voting online using your individual voting PIN.]

“Now, we will introduce our candidates and get an opening remark up to two minutes from each candidate.  There is more information available at Elections.Pacifica.org.

“We are now going to get an introduction from our candidates today.  Please remember, we have—you have up to two minutes for an opening statement.

T.M., we’ll start off with you.”  (c. 3:34)

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “Hi.  I’m T.M. Scruggs.  I grew up in Millbrae [San Mateo County], across the [S.F.] Bay.  But I’ve lived outside it for almost all my life, returning a few years ago.  I’m an educator, musician, and long-time social activist, involved in community and non-profit media for, mm, about 30 years now.  I have volunteered at community radio in every city I’ve lived in since high school.  It’s helped to give me a comparative perspective on all the different forms, that community radio can take, and what is common among all of them, which is non-commercial commitment to serve the community not represented by corporate media.

“Here, I attended local board meetings to learn about how I could help this treasure, that we have here, a true gem, linked to four other stations, nationally.  I was elected to fill out a one-year term last year.  So, I’m up for re-election.

“We had a successful retreat at the Local Station Board this year.  And I wanna build on the understandings of unity and purpose, that we share from that.

This is the only community station, that I’ve seen with such a large paid staff.  This has, from what I understand, expanded up until we hit the Great Recession of 2008.  And, now, we’ve inherited a challenging budget.  We just received the resignation of our professional accountant.  We face real challenges on how to confront some truly dire economic circumstances.

“You know; terrestrial radio, broadcast radio is in gradual decline across the country.  We have an aging audience here, that desperately needs to be refreshed.

“Now, the faithful listeners, who are following the candidate forums, and other members, should know that everyone in the United for Community Radio [UCR] wants to save KPFA.  And everyone, either, participated in, or agrees with, the original use of the name [Save KPFA] for the 1999 struggles, that helped to keep our beloved Pacifica Foundation democratic.

“Reaching back and claiming that name does confuse people.  But everyone in UCR, Tom [Voorhees] and I and Ramsés, and no doubt independent candidates as well as others want to save KPFA.  Thanks.”  (c. 5:37)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  We have Tom.”

TOM VOORHEES (UCR Candidate):  “Yeah.  I’m Tom Vorhees.  I’m a longtime builder of new community radio stations throughout the United States and south of the border.

“First, I want to explain my view of the major issues, that’s been promoted as infighting between the two major factions [at KPFA].  I see the SaveKPFA folks as, generally, oriented towards a top-down form of organisation with a programme director, that’s now starting to exercise censorship, disregarding Pacifica’s longtime history of debating controversial issues.

“Us, UCR folks, generally, believe in democracy from the bottom-up with a programming commitment that includes community, Local Board, paid- and volunteer-staff representatives.

“I believe this conflict in style resulted in the now-dormant 2012 Pacifica Financial Recovery Plan, which is still ready and waiting to solve today’s financial crisis.  Callers, check out the plan at mediafire.com/pacificarecoveryplan2012.”  (c. 7:12)

LEON SYKES:  “Alright.  Thank you.  On the phone, we have Ramsés.  Hello, Ramsés.”  (c. 7:19)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  “Yeah.  Hi.  Can you hear me okay?”

LEON SYKES:  “Yes, indeed.  You have two minutes.  Let me know when you’re ready.”

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  “Alright.  Thank you.  Hi, everyone.  Good evening.  [SNIP]  ”

[Ramsés is a SF Bay Area labour organizer; UCR candidate running for re-election.]

LEON SYKES:  ” [Moderator informs candidate that his time to respond has expired.]

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [SNIP]  Thank you.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.

“We will now get into our series of five questions, that we would ask each candidate.  Each candidate’s allowed one minute to respond.  Our first question:

The Local Station Board reviews and approves the station’s budget and makes quarterly reports to the foundation’s board of directors, regarding the stations’ budget, actual income, and expenditures.  How will you help the Local Station Board carry out its responsibility?

“Tom, we will start off with you.”  (c. 10:00)

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “I would implement the 2012 Recovery Plan, which takes care of most of those.”

LEON SYKES:  “Are you going?  Keep going.”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “No.”

LEON SYKES:  “Okay.  Thank you very much.

“Next,  Ramsés?”  (c. 10:27)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés says he has experience with financial organization and planning.]

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  T.M.?”

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “First of all, I just want to say.  I want to recognise that Ramsés is calling in from Colombia—”

LEON SYKES:  “Absolutely.”

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “—in South America.  I think that’s a good example of dedication.

“Well, you know, we need realistic budgets.  And when we’re in a period, where there’s a surplus, we need to save up for the future.  And, within the LSB, I’ll continue to insist on accurate and timely production of budget information, which we have not been the best at.  With a treasurer at the PNB [Pacifica National Board], or at KPFA, delivering the report like a half hour before the meeting, it’s hard to read a spreadsheet that fast.

“I’m very opposed to corporate underwriting because that’s a slippery slope, that can lead to self-censorship, knowing that big brother with a checkbook is looking over your shoulder.

It’s unconscionable that we, Pacifica, have lost the large funding we qualified for from the U.S. government, the CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  And, so, hopefully we can get our books in order, so that we will be able to qualify from here on out.”  (c. 12:40)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.

The Local Station Board works with station management to insure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the foundation and is responsive to the diverse needs of the listeners and communities served by the station and that station’s policies and procedures for making programming decisions and for programme evaluation are working in a fair, collaborative, and respectful manner to provide quality programming.  How will you help the LSB carry out this responsibility?

“Ramsés?  We’ll start with you.  And, remember, you have one minute.”  (c. 13:13)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés says he appreciates this aspect of KPFA and Pacifica.  There are many people involved in this from the CAB (Community Advisory Board) and the LSB (Local Station Board), as well as staff.  He wants to have an inclusive environment, which allows input from all interested parties.] (c. 14:22)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  T.M.?”

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “I strongly support the variety of progressive political views.  I don’t, necessarily, agree with everything I hear.  But I want to make sure that we provide a platform for a variety of really progressive politics.

“I know at other community radio stations and, earlier here, there was a community programming committee, which can be a vehicle to successfully bring in people, to give their input. [6]

“I speak Spanish; and much of my activism has involved Latino communities.  The [S.F.] Bay Area has a huge Latino population.  And we don’t need to have Spanish language programming to reach out to them.  With a continued onslaught of gentrification in the [S.F.] Mission [district], we should realise that the new Mission is becoming Richmond and San Pablo—right over here on the East Bay.

“So, I really look forward to pushing to represent those communities as much as we can within our programming, and having an active involvement with the people on the ground there.”  (c. 15:21)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  Tom?”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “I support Article Seven (3)(g), of the [Pacifica] Bylaws, which provide for involvement of the Local Station Board ‘making programming’.  And I’ll just leave it at that.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.

“Also, I would like to remind our listeners that we will be having a calling-in section.  Please call 1.800.958-9008.  Once again:  1.800.958-9008.  An if you’d like to find out more information, go to Elections.Pacifica.org.  Once again Elections.Pacifica.org.  If you wanna call in:  1.800.958-9008.

The Local Station Board assists with station fundraising activities.  How will you help the LSB carry out this responsibility?

“Tom.  We’ll start off with you.”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “Can you repeat the question?”

LEON SYKES:  “Yes, I can.”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “What was the responsibility—what?

LEON SYKES:  “The Local Station Board assists with station fundraising activities.  How will you help the LSB carry out this responsibility?

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “Um, by supporting local outreach, different community gatherings, and stuff.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you very much.  T.M.?”  (c. 16:59)

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “Well, I feel that we need to recognise that we’re swimming in a capitalist sea.  And we can’t live in an ideal bubble.  We need to follow some of the successful examples right here  in the [S.F.] Bay Area, like the magazine, Mother Jones, has an annual dinner, that raises a lot of money—some kind of gala event is long overdue.  Other non-profit radio stations, like I keep hearing, you know, on classical stations, used car donations available. [7]  And we could also have more music and cultural events.  We have really nice Crafts Fairs.  Those are nice.  And the [inaudible] is really good.  Of course, we’re always in Berkeley.  We could expand to other places in our listening area.

But we need to recognise that a high budget means a high wall to climb each year.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  Ramsés?”  (c. 17:46)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés offers ways to help contribute and raise funds.  Also says LSB must explore options for fundraising, perhaps, even, ‘tinkering with underwriting’, even though he says he doesn’t like underwriting.]  (c. 18:57)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you very much.  Once again, please call in, if you have any questions for our candidates.  1.800.958-9008.  And, for more information, go to Elections.Pacifica.org.

The Local Station Board actively reaches out to underrepresented communities to help the station serve a diversity of all races, creeds, colours, and nations, classes, genders, and sexual orientations, and ages, and to help build collaborative relations with organisations working for familiar purposes.  How will you help the LSB fulfill this responsibility?

“We’ll start out with Ramsés.”

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  “I’m sorry I did not hear part of that question.” (c. 19:44)

LEON SYKES:  “I’ll repeat it for you again, no problem.”

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  “Thank you.” (c. 19:48)

LEON SYKES:  “The Local Station Board actively reaches out to underrepresented communities to help the station serve a diversity of all races, creeds, colours, and nations, classes, genders, and sexual orientations, and ages, and to help build collaborative relations with organisations working for similar purposes.  How will you help the LSB fulfill this responsibility?”  (c. 20:14)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés draws on his experience in community organising and labour organising to help reach out to expand KPFA’s listenership.] (c. 21:19)

LEON SYKES:  “Time.”

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés finishes his sentence.] (c. 21:23)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you very much.  T.M.?”

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “Yeah; I think those are great ideas.  A couple things, I think—you know, we need to advertise more.  We need to reach out beyond our already established base in, both, print and, especially, social media, try and get out there more.

“And the other major way we can get out there is the more we can be on the ground, be on-the-ground reporters of local activism and actions, then we not only offer journalism, that you can’t find elsewhere, but we expose KPFA to people, who are active in the social movements now and, frankly, are younger than the average KPFA listeners.

“And this type of connection can also come from more coverage of local cultural events of all kinds.  I mean it’s just the kind of intersection between a radio station and local populists, that defines community radio, that makes it dynamic, and helps people see it as their own.”  (c. 22:17)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  Tom?”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “I support the participation of local community members in a programming committee, that does not presently exist. [6]  It was ended a couple of years ago.  And I support the return of that programming committee for making major programming decisions.”  (c. 22:46)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.

The Local Station Board insures that KPFA works diligently towards the goal of diversity in staffing at all levels and maintenance of a discrimination-free atmosphere in the workplace.  How will you help the LSB fulfill this responsibility?

“T.M.”  (c. 23:07)

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “Well, we’re always there as a sounding board for people, who are, both, volunteers and paid staff—you know, unpaid staff and paid staff—to be able to come and be a way—besides, also, the union for the paid people—I wish, however, representation we could arrange for non-paid people, in case there is some kind of problem at the station.

“Besides that, the First Voice Apprenticeship Program is the most successful programme in that respect, here, at KPFA.  It deserves all the support we can give it.

“We need to recognise that only by extending KPFA into the future and expanding the space can what we have survive and grow and improve.  And, maybe, the staff can even learn from these interns some more on how best to maximise and increase our outreach.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  Tom?”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “Can you repeat the question?”  (c. 24:01)

LEON SYKES:  “[clears throat]

The Local Station Board insures that KPFA works diligently towards the goal of diversity in staffing at all levels and maintenance of a discrimination-free atmosphere in the workplace.  How will you help the Local Station Board fulfill this responsibility?”  (c. 24:17)

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “[clears throat]  Well, generally, by not discriminating.  And I think that’s all I have to say.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  Ramsés?”  (c. 24:33)

[Ramses recalls experiences on the LSB, which fell short of that stated ideal and he suggests transparency, trust, and accountability are needed to help remedy such issues.]

LEON SYKES:  “Time.”

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés continues speaking, apparently, trying to finish his sentence.]

LEON SYKES:  “Time.”  (c. 25:39)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés finally finishes his sentence.]  (c. 25:43)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you.  We will now open up our phone lines to our callers.  Once again, remember, if you would like to call in, you have one question to address all three candidates to answer.  Each candidate will be allowed one minute to answer.  And if you are thinking about calling in, or getting ready to call in, call 1.800.958-9008.  Let’s get our first caller on the line.  Hello, caller.  How are you doing?”

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER:  “Is that me?”

LEON SYKES:  “Yes, indeed.”  (c. 26:12)

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER:  “Oh.  Well, I’m liking what I’m hearing from the candidates.  But, I would like to, um, say that, um, I feel disrespected as a listener.  And I have been a subscriber before.  But I don’t anymore because I feel that there’s not a free exchange of ideas and that we are being preached to.  And there’s kind of a badge of so-called progressive beliefs, that are not really vetted, I feel, and that we could—you know; I’m a compassionate person.  But I would like to—I don’t—my beliefs are not exactly like what I hear the main programmers always saying.

“My question is: How would you get more debate and just more opinions?  I feel like we’re kind of limited and managed in our opinions at KPFA.”  (c. 27:03)

LEON SYKES:  “So, you wanna open up the—more opinions?  Okay.  Definitely.  T.M.”

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “Well, you know, that’s something, that the United for Community Radio and all the community radio stations, that I’ve been at, that’s one of the great things of community radio that it’s, compared to corporate radio, free form, in the best sense of the word, not crazy, anarchic, the microphones are falling apart.  You know, whatever.  But it’s open to an expression of various ideas.

“And I notice that Mitch Jeserich started a call-in programme.  And I like that feel.  I mean I liked his programme before.  And I like the one now because it has more of a reference to the rest of the community. [8]

“I’m hoping that we can kind of keep bringing in more and more, not necessarily professional, but amateur, so to speak, in the best sense of the word, community voices in, so that we could have the broadest expression of what’s out there.  And without censorship.  If something’s crazy; alright, it’s on, it’s off.  You know?

“That’s just how we should do it.”  [moderator’s timer buzzer trilled.]  (c. 28:15)

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you very much.  Ramsés?”

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés encourages feedback to the LSB about KPFA’s programming from listeners.  He also reminded listeners that the CAB, or Community Advisory Board, is another avenue for feedback about programming.]

LEON SYKES:  “Time.”  (c. 29:23)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés continues speaking, apparently, trying to finish his sentence.]

LEON SYKES:  “Time.”  (c. 29:30)

RAMSÉS TEÓN NICHOLS (UCR candidate):  ” [Ramsés continues speaking, apparently, trying to finish his sentence, as somebody lowers the volume on his voice.]  (c. 29:33)

LEON SYKES:  “[Moderator laughs under his breath, as the volume is faded down on Ramsés audio.]  Tom.”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “Yeah.  I’m sorry.  I’m not hanging on to the questions very well, here.  Can you repeat that again?”

LEON SYKES:  “Uh, the caller wanted to know about getting more opinions and more variety of thoughts on these station. [sic]”

TOM VORHEES (UCR candidate):  “Well, the first thing I’d say is we need to do something with the current management plan.  We’re waiting to do something with the current management, programming manager, and her philosophy of censorship.  And we need to go back to debating issues, rather than cutting out pieces of them.”

LEON SYKES:  “Thank you very much.  T.M.?”

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “I already answered.”

LEON SYKES:  “Excuse me.”

T.M. SCRUGGS (UCR candidate):  “That’s okay.”

LEON SYKES:  “Excuse me.  [someone interjects: “Keep going.”]  We’re gonna go to our next caller.  And, again, if you’re thinking about calling in, 1.800-958-9008.  And if you want more information, please go to Elections.Pacifica.org.  Caller?”

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER #2:  “Hello?”

LEON SYKES:  “Hello, there.”

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER #2:  “Am I on?”

LEON SYKES:  “Yes, you are.”  (c. 30:52)

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER #2:  ” [SNIP]

[(c. 44:00) Host Leon Sykes responds to a caller’s query, confirming that KPFA will only make the audio archives of the LSB Candidate Forums for two weeks, unlike most other public affairs programming, which are made accessible to KPFA listeners in perpetuity.]

[SNIP]

[SNIP]  (c. 59:59)

Learn more at KPFA.

[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.]

***

[1]  Also see Pacifica Radio Network’s ‘Frequently Asked Questions‘ regarding the Local Station Boards.

UPDATE:  After further reconsideration, Lumpenproletariat is still withholding all support from the SaveKPFA faction.  Listener candidate Kris Stewart sounds promising, but, somehow, she seems opposed or unaware of the partisan divide between United for Community Radio (UCR) and SaveKPFA.  Here are Lumpenproletariat‘s ranked picks for the KPFA Local Station Board:

  1. T.M. Scruggs (UCR)
  2. Aki Tanaka (UCR)
  3. Carol Wolfley (UCR)
  4. Marilla Argüelles (UCR)
  5. Tom E. Vorhees (independent?)
  6. Ramsés Teón Nichols (UCR)

[2]  Although, at times, Mr. Sykes appreciated the rewards of trading off a bit of leniency with the time constraints, going easy on LSB candidate Ramsés, who seemed incapable of timing his responses within the time-constraints like the other candidates.  Mr. Sykes was more lenient.  But, then, Ramsés comments weren’t as critical of the SaveKPFA faction as the ones Mr. Sykes did cut off firmly.

[3]  We will have to provide some historical context here, as time constraints allow.  In the meantime, see the following:

  • “Stealing Save KPFA” by Curt Gray, San Francisco Bay View, 20 SEP 2010.

[4]  Terrestrial radio broadcast, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Special Programming, this one-hour broadcast hosted by Leon Sykes, Tuesday, 8 SEP 2016, 19:00 PDT.  [For some unfortunate, antidemocratic reason, very important KPFA LSB broadcasts are removed from public access two weeks after initial broadcast, according to Leon Sykes.]

[5]  Yep, that’s all the information listeners were given.  This kind of thing shows how little certain people at KPFA think of having a democratic governance structure.  The prevailing powers in charge did not even provide a link to the current to Elections.Pacifica.org, much lest to past, or contextual LSB Candidate, information.

Even callers were asking if these broadcasts, infant examples of broadcast media democracy, would be archived.  The moderator, Leon Sykes, simply stated that the archives would be made available to the public for only about two weeks, after which they’d be buried away, lest listeners realise the circularity of the issues plaguing KPFA and free speech radio, generally, and learn from those mistakes.

During these 2016 discussions, which nobody would qualify as debates, the question of online presence came up as a way to increase listenership, funding, and community support.  What nobody mentioned is that LSB candidates have raised this issue for years, since KPFA and Pacifica won a legal battle, which awarded them a democratic governance structure.  But certain KPFA partisans have resisted this.  Indeed, online presence was a key campaign issue on the Voices for Justice slate, in which I ran as a Listener Candidate in 2010.  Years later, when I began archiving news and information at Lumpenproletariat.org, and readership started growing, KPFA’s gatekeepers arbitrarily blocked your author from posting comments on KPFA’s website.  Yet, free speech media audiences have been grateful for the increased online presence of free speech content.  I’ve emailed KPFA’s General Manager Quincy McCoy about this, but have only been ignored.  Instead of KPFA’s listener-members/owners learning from the mistakes of the past, listeners wash ashore to KPFA’s LSB, find internal conflict at KPFA, suggest the same common sense solutions as others in years past, then shrivel away in defeat, usually unaware that others have tried and failed the same way, as the faction with the deepest pockets, SaveKPFA, holds strong to their turf within KPFA and on the LSB.  SaveKPFA will abuse Robert’s Rules of Order to have its “top-down” way on the LSB, as one candidate said during tonight’s broadcast.

[6]  For more on the KPFA Program Council, which was opposed by the SaveKPFA faction, see the following:

  • “Program Council at KPFA” by Tracy Rosenberg, United for Community Radio, 22 OCT 2015, originally published circa 2009.

[7]  Point of information:  Longtime KPFA listeners, and listener-members, will recall that KPFA used to broadcast CARTs, which advertised for used car donations  And longtime KPFA LSB observers will recall that used car donations was also a fundraising strategy, which used to be addressed on the KPFA LSB.  Apparently, it has not been employed as a fundraising opportunity recently.

[8]  KPFA used to feature many more call-ins during their broadcasts.  For example, back in the late ’90s, Larry Bensky would take calls toward the final quarter of his midday radio show Living Room.  And Wendell Harper used to do the same on his evening show, What’s the Verdict.

***

[9 SEP 2016]

[Last modified 15:45 PDT  30 SEP 2016]

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