A Letter written to Pacifica, KPFK, and others:
[As often as we - those who are not employed by Pacifica or it's stations - can & do complain, and request improvements & changes, and we can find problems that need exposure, here is also our balanced need and desire to also extend sincere thanks when exceptional results are heard ! Here goes ...]
A Huge Thank You all who created the spaces, the program slots, did the set up, planning and execution of the very vital and informative convention coverages.
Both conventions were full of relevant and unexpected commentaries. I was delighted and revitalized, listening intently to every singled aired show. This is the best way to keep listener-sponsors & volunteers loyal for a long time to our local stations [mine is KPFK].
Larry Benskey sounds so balanced, fair, clever, descriptive. He does good-reportering, never sounding too one-sided or too partisan. [Only a couple of other commentators in these coverages who made their own biased righteousness heard - while accusing others -were not as good.] By contrast those few made Sonali Kohatar and Larry Bensky sound even more professional and 'cool'. Sonali was so smooth and smart, performing on even a higher level than I've heard before, so that she sounded even better than when on her own local shows.
Covering the street scenes and dissenters was for some of us more important than the inside staged events. Tho I learned of the pre-emptive raids from Salon.com first, I was grateful and impressed to hear more coverage in audio on our radio station soon after.
Pacifica was the first and most extensive of any other "news" that I could find. [ NPR came in much later with more generalized coverage which included the branded code words that M$M utilizes to diminish anyone who was not officially invited "inside" - thus implying "they" are crazy, violent and bad.]
What else was on TV or radio was the type of interviewing that limits and biases the information sought - that was later heard & seen elsewhere, but our KPFK-Pacifica reporting was much more level-headed and thus trustworthy news. More full news also.
Our KPFK, here in LA, as one of the many stations who ran your coverage, was consistently more up-to-date informative, and sounding [sort of] neutral. The programs were providing voice and venue for many voters who otherwise would also be dismissed & ignored for lack of power and public coverage.
The "Democracy Now" programs' on-air time was extended and repeated. This was a gift to those of us far from the conventions and those dangers around them. These reporters were very directly involved inside and outside the conventions and had a prime spot from which to reveal the goings-on to us, the tuned-in public . These programs were extremely current and provided us [who are far away from the scene in-body-only] the dissenters' & protesters' experiences, as well as descriptive views of the fancier events on the 'inside' stages too.
I had to listen to both identical segments of DN with the same fascination and serious concern because one hearing was not sufficient. The events were so scary to our USA liberty [what's left].
I write here to inform those readers of Pacificana, who may not always hear directly from listeners, of our now re-attachment to our Pacifica stations. Some of us become estranged for all the dysfunctions and opaqueness that leave us 'out' of being able to help our favorite radio. Now Pacifica has again fulfilled one of the original stations' intentions - of being in the forefront and being fair - in covering all aspects of actual & urgent political happenings.
How many ways to say this, we who listen, now deeply appreciate all those who worked to make these conventions and the streets around them accessible via sound to us in far away lands [yep, far enough] ?
Thank you, truly.
[ and please share this with those who may not read this here directly]
One more insight I had:
While listening to the call-in section on 800# from DNC, I recognized a voice of a local KPFK volunteer - who may be also considered difficult by staff in some personality ways - and I heard him ask about the then- conversation of Pacifica reporters being limited to the assumption there were only 2 political parties for which to vote . To my surprise and delight, the reporters picked up on his request that 3rd parties not be excluded during this convention national-talk-time, and not just be segregated-out [ tho covered at different time, only]. The reporters continued discussing this unfairness of 2-party-group dominance to outsiders.
And I learned that a lone, small [stature] distant voice can elicit a bigger impact in our political conversations. I was proud of his call-in, and I was tickled that someone at Pacifica did not dismiss his concerns easily out of hand.
Here again was proof that every small effort and with strong good intention can occasionally create a big [national radio] effect. Wow!
[This was also posted at Pacificana.org.]