Thursday, April 16, 2009

How is KPFA & KPFK going to be cooperative when KPFK by itself has fractions and splits ?

"Pacifica Launches California Newscast" reposted from
written by KPFT Program Director - 14 April, 2009
titled "From our compatriots at KPFA:

At a time when newspapers across the country are shutting their doors and news departments are disappearing, KPFK Radio in Los Angeles and KPFA Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area are launching a joint California-wide newscast. The newscast, which will begin airing the week of April 20th, will cover local and regional issues of concern to the residents of America’s most populous state, such as incarceration, the foreclosure crisis, police brutality, labor struggles, and the many threats to California’s environment.

“It is exciting: Pacifica, the original community radio network, is back with another trailblazing idea,” says KPFK General Manager Sean Heitkemper. “Californians will benefit greatly from this statewide news hour.”

KPFA General Manager Lemlem Rijio says, “At a moment when news has become an endangered species in the US, we are pleased that KPFA and KPFK can step into the breech and provide listeners across the state of California with crucial information that is not beholden to commercial interests and which they won’t find elsewhere.”

Pacifica affiliate KFCF in Fresno will contribute to the newscast, with stories covering the diverse communities of California’s Central Valley.

The hour-long newscast will air each night at 6pm Pacific time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern California, KCFC 88.1 FM in the Central Valley, and KPFA Radio 94.1FM in Northern California, and online at,, and

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED - - - - - - - - - -

Who dares to make this claim and be believed "crucial information ....which they won’t find elsewhere" ?? How exclusive are any Pacifica reporters and what makes them provide information not available to all & any other media and reporters?
"Exclusive" ? not.
Interesting ? maybe.
Current ? probably.
"trailblazing idea" ? not very new or different than other cooperative stations do. "not beholden to commercial interests" ? but beholden to certain political groups interests and their limited viewpoints and actions. probably.

What happened to the person and position called Nathan Moore who was the program coordinator for Pacifica ? Has this position been refilled to help coordinate an effective and fairly-shared selection of programs ? Why did he write on that his position was eliminated about 4-5 months ago ?

If the prior news staff at KPFK were released or removed or fired or sidelined, and possibly for ethical or 'good' reasons of which The Community KPFK serves knows not... if that staff was not-good-enough, how is this new version of newsreporters and their findings going to be evaluated and selected as being "better" ?
What criteria are those decisions based upon ?
Who makes those decisions ? Is it a single person ? group? or who then approves those decisions?

The Community who have no or little access to what occurs within our KPFK station. These stakeholders will again just be the same passive audience, just waiting breathlessly to be told what is good, what is "news", whose news is serving them, and having to again trust that Pacifica's own image-building version of itself will really play out this time...

as Pacifica is said to be, "people powered" or is this meaning "more people" rather than the same old group in another uniformed fashion as other radio stations ?
The uniform can be be politically 'left' or 'radical' or 'Green" or even "those struggling" ....

What makes that promotional PR blurb believable ? huh ?

Of course, we will dutifully wait to decide how helpful this shared task will be and if we the payees of the news at Pacifica receive our fair and full share back. Maybe yes ?

We will all wait to the news to sound clear and fair. California here we are !

Terry Goodman wrote to explain KPFK's problems with getting community INPUT...he is informative, straight and right on ! a sad story tho....

"On Mon, 23 Feb 2009, this blogger on "A KPFKer Here Now " wrote:

Please advise those responsible that the listings are NOT PUT ON WEBSITE to inform us when the next committee and board meetings are being held... see right now that there is NOTHING listed for March.

Meetings cannot be posted until they are scheduled, and a posting is not a valid meeting notice unless it includes date, time, and location. Last minute postings typically reflect last minute finalization of meeting locations. Although there are multiple advantages that accrue when a regular venue is selected for meetings, the counter-argument of broader community access for traveling LSB meetings has typically had sufficient support each year to derail attempts to establish a regular venue for KPFK LSB meetings. Ideally, in my opinion, the LSB and each LSB committee should adopt an annual calendar for its regular meetings, select a regular location for those meetings, and publish that schedule in advance. Instead, finalization of committee meeting dates frequently occurs month-to-month and finalization of LSB meeting locations frequently occurs less than two weeks before each meeting.

Tho February was checked at beginning of month, again, nothing was there and later it was already past and un attendable.

It is very rare that a KPFK governance-related meeting announcement is not posted on the KPFK Event Calendar at least seven days in advance. Members can receive email notification of these meetings by joining a Yahoo! group here. This is not an "official" list because there are problems with authority and liability whenever anything is official.

also the website lists a link to make PROGRAM COMMENTS, but those who use library comuters cannot access the link nor even find it's address when clicked because the library does not have it's own email programs set up.

Webmasters at KPFA and KPFT (and maybe others) have addressed this by providing email forms on their websites that can be used within a web browser. This has the advantage of not exposing LSB Member or other email addresses to harvesting for spam by web spidering software robots. I would encourage KPFK's webmaster to follow suit, without waiting for an LSB instruction.

Are you all deliberatelye excluding all who want to communicate or attend the governance and committees and board meetings ?

No, the situation simply reflects poor communication and coordination between KPFK's local governance and its local management and inadequate work by KPFK's volunteer governance. The LSB could accomplish better membership communication if it instructed management as to its needs and desires in this area, but various attempts to obtain LSB agreement on such instructions have generally been voted down. KPFK Management could take the initiative in establishing mechanisms and just advise the LSB what it has set up, but management too has typically given various immediate crises a higher priority than membership communications.

It sure seems so many ways


It was said that someone from the LSB would see the comments made if one wrote to "program comments" and it was cuddly called 'a corner' ....however, it does NOT go to Steve or whoever is suppose to receive a copy of these comments...

As I recall, the KPFK LSB Programming Oversight Committee, working with station management and/or the station's webmaster, arranged for committee members to regularly review those comments and was establishing protocols for forwarding, reply, and follow-up. This arguably goes beyond the role of the LSB in programming identified in the Pacifica Bylaws, but the general idea received LSB support.

again, how does one reach the LSB? or any members on it?

Sherna Gluck proposed a Listener LSB Comment line in a motion for the 2/05/05 LSB meeting, quoted here. Although the agenda item probably wasn't reached at that meeting, I believe that something along these lines was eventually approved -- but, there's a built-in problem with point-to-point communications like phone calls, because somebody must be authorized to receive or review the calls and somebody must presumably be authorized to respond. The LSB does not easily delegate any such authorities. Moreover, neither the LSB nor individual LSB Members have authority to assign tasks to station staff members, so there's going to be a problem in any attempt to insure that productive follow-up is accomplished unless there is also management involvement.

With respect to email communications, the KPFK LSB has not agreed on a policy. KPFK management has not pro-actively directed the KPFK webmaster to provide a website form to automatically send public comments to LSB members without their permission.

It is not clearly or easily found - by searching logically it was NOT found - so that again, are the LSB and other committees hiding behind lack of access from us sponsors?

Individual LSB members vary as to the level of public access they wish to allow via email, and some have only a single email address that they wish to remain private. It would be fairly simple for the station's mail administrator to provide a public email address for the LSB and for each LSB committee and to publish those addresses on the station's website. Individual members could then opt-out of inclusion on any such public mail forwarding list. For a short period, the LSB mail alias that the station maintains for official notices to LSB members was open to the public, but it was later closed to mail from unauthorized addresses, perhaps in response to individual LSB Member complaints.

Director Leslie Radford pushed for a policy on member communication in her first term as a Delegate, but no policy was finalized and adopted in that term.

Harrison Weil offered a simple resolution as a consent item in September, 2004. That's here, but I don't think anything came of it.

A comprehensive resolution that I drafted on this topic in June, 2005 can be found here. It was not adopted.

Separately, using mechanisms already established for paid and unpaid staff, the station has provided a webmail capability that would allow each LSB member to receive LSB-related email from members by logging into the website, but there have been login problems in testing, LSB members have not been trained in how to use the facility, and the assigned addresses have not been published.

Please respond or inform all those concerned about both these matters, that have been written about before with NO IMPROVEMENTS OR CHANGES to allow us in.

There is still no clear policy. One of the barriers to clear policy is the restriction on public and private communications among board members in the CPB Open Meeting provisions as interpreted by the California Attorney General. There is some indexing of that discussion here.

is this called transparency ? honesty ? representation ? free-speech locked out ?

There is no agreement on what the lack of a clear member communication policy is called, and this is only one of many areas still lacking clear policy. When governance spends much of its time arguing over issues around which there is board controversy, it has little time to find areas of agreement and to provide direction to or oversight of management.

the resulting ill-will, not good will engendered to KPFK, is one that breeds resentment, distrust, lack of funding desires, and an image of hypocrisy.Is this what is wanted and is this what the "visions" of the GM's at PNB said they would do ?

Local Station Boards are very limited in their ability to make or implement operational decisions, and General Managers have not generally provided much leadership in training local Delegates in how to be effective board members. In my opinion, the absence of understanding among members as to how much of the problem belongs to governance versus how much belongs to management in the context of the difficulty obtaining governance agreement or follow-through on anything argues for management devising and implementing solutions unilaterally in this area among others, subject to governance recommendations for policy amendment if problems subsequently arise.

Who is not doing oversight to all these LACK OF COMMUNICATIONS problems ?

Oversight is generally a governance function. There is still not much governance oversight within Pacifica.

or does the staff/station want to admit openly and State it On Air too that it is only a 1-way out station with no responsibility to it's sponsors/shareholders ?

Ideally, Pacifica's governance would provide mechanisms to identify and monitor each station's fulfillment of its responsibilities to members. Theoretically, it isn't management's job to arrange those mechanisms for governance absent governance instruction, due to the inherent conflict of interest. In Pacifica's case, absent adequate experience among governance members, more leadership from management is needed until a workable structure is established that can then be maintained with minimal revision.

Only when a provocative topic is put on by a programmer with listener calls incoming is there any response.


Some staffers respond to some email and voice mail messages sometimes, but this is probably rare. Voicemail to the KPFK Program Director has at times reached a quantity where it takes several hours a day just to listen to them. Without assistance to the PD, some voice messages may be deleted unheard. The KPFK news department gets a massive amount of email. When last reported upon, all email messages to that department were read, but few responded to. There's only so much time each day.

Many programmers are only at the station during their show's broadcast (if then), and these unpaid staff members will usually pick up their postal mail weekly or monthly, corresponding to their broadcast schedules. Volunteer programmers likely do a better job responding to listener input than paid staff, but there too the ability to respond diminishes as the volume of communication increases.

Lack of time to respond to listener inquiries and suggestions has been a chronic problem at most Pacifica stations due to overwork of staff and lack of clerical or administrative assistance to staff. With recent staffing cutbacks, this problem can only be expected to get worse. For a nonprofit community radio station to have the sort of public responsiveness and customer service that a normal business needs to survive, it must in my opinion employ the services of many volunteers. Pacifica stations in recent decades have not done a good job of recruiting, training, and trusting volunteers to handle the sensitive and frequently unrewarded function of public interface outside the limited role of answering phones in the pledge room during fund drives. KPFK programmers do sometimes bring in their own volunteers to answer the 818-985-5735 line during their broadcasts, even when no call-ins are intended for the broadcast. Sometimes that line will be answered by the programmer, if he or she is not on the air.

Is that a bunker to hide within from 'the public' you treasure and need to pay your salaries??

The paid staff has more work to do in keeping the station running and programming on the air than usually allows for daily communication with listeners. Station staff is often rushing about the building attempting to meet broadcast deadlines and/or doing work that requires their full focus and attention.

I don't think we'll see much improvement until the station brings on a crew of regular, daily volunteers who stay around long enough to learn what they need to know to do productive work, who are sufficiently discrete to be trusted with access to staff members' possibly private communications, and who are sufficiently responsible to communicate with members on the station's behalf. Capable assistants willing to work for free without the ego-gratification of airtime are difficult to recruit, and the broader culture encourages treating such support personnel as inferiors rather than as essential, which makes them very hard to keep unless the paid and senior staff is carefully trained in how to keep new and junior staff happy and respected.

--Terry Goodman,
KPFK Volunteer
former KPFK Staff Member
former KPFK Delegate

February 24, 2009 1:45 PM

Open letter already sent to KPFK staff & LSB about OUR "Mission" lapses

this is a "the Mission" footnote, indicating all that is still lacking at KPFK to take effect.

["Mission" copied from KPFK web page and surely memorized by all those who work at KPFK already .... with my emphasis to point to what does not appear to be in active process at KPFK ]

" c) In radio broadcasting operations to encourage and provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the community; to conduct classes and workshops in the writing and producing of drama; to establish awards and scholarships for creative writing; to offer performance facilities to amateur instrumentalists, choral groups, orchestral groups and music students; and to promote and aid other creative activities which will serve the cultural welfare of the community.....

(d) In radio broadcasting operations to engage in any activity that shall contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all of such groups; and through any and all means compatible with the purposes of this corporation to promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms.

(e) In radio broadcasting operations to promote the full distribution of public information; to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium; and to employ such varied sources in the public presentation of accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community."

so if some of us are reading this Mission, and it seems to include more than just lectures to raise money or sponsoring media events of other organizations... since it says ,

" to encourage and provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the community." ...

which does sounds like "outlets" are not ONLY for those included as already selected "programmers" or producers who are allowed to present on-air programs...

the community sounds a lot wider and broader in terms of having some "outlets" of input to the station, even if not officially "on air".

If "the Community" is to be affected or even involved in the results in any way, even off-air, then input, feedback, discourse, discussion, and even debate may be a part of the knowing the community and what / how / when 'it' is being affected and how/when 'it' is responding to the decisions made by those who hold the reins [power].

the quoted above "to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium" also sounds more like listeners/ sponsors/ stakeholders also can bring in and share and suggest their sources and ideas.... and they too can offer "sources of news" that the established programmers [ many stuck at KPFK for a very very long time holding tightly on their places...some for years and years ! ] do not access or the station staff producers chose.

Are the only the already-accepted-programmers [with their established and long-held biases and viewpoints] and the few producer-staff then the only ones who can find and select "sources of news" ? No input from anyone but those already in ? this does NOT sound like the spirit of what the holy Mission intends.

But then, who is to interpret it, like with the other laws, there is only those who wield the power who decide for everyone else...and that only those already "in" have any "access"or ideas worth using ? or only those pre-selected have "creative energies" to be used ?

and also "....on all matters vitally affecting the community" sounds again like the community can express what affects it and also can and should give feedback to the station staff and programmers about it's affections and what matters too... no ?

if you think I am just picking at words, then I am doing just like all good lawyers, jurists, politicians, and managers and even artists do. Then just ignore all this and continue on in the very same old way and those out here who have become disaffected as not-allowed-to-be-part-of-the-community can just go away and reside elsewhere.

Then I have wasted your time and my time & efforts and caring.

whatever.....and those of us "outside" the realms of KPFK power positions are out of control and not relevant to inform anyone inside the station.... and we seem to only have only money to offer keep the station vibrant, relevant, vital, creative, and varied.

Maybe the same old same old old old repeated programs and attitudes are 'good enough' ...maybe not...any more.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Communication IN problems to KPFK well explained. See comment to posting Feb 2009 below.

Terry Goodman, "KPFK Volunteer former KPFK Staff Member former KPFK Delegate" wrote an excellent explanatory essay answering the questions and concerns about why KPFK is so hard to access, except as an on-air 1-way-out radio station.

Please read his helpful comments and share this vital honest information, as many have complained and been alienated from participating more fully with KPFK in many ways due to the lack of access to any staff with their valid concerns.

Programmers who do not respond are assumed to also be only "volunteers" and tho Terry does not speak to the issue that they may be also obtaining benefits from all the artists, speakers, organizations they "announce" and present, often programmers are not better in responding if there is no profit to be derived either.

Perhaps some of the hinderances to KPFK that Terry also notes and describes can be addressed by other KPFK listener-sponsor STAKEHOLDERS of this station...thru the Local Station Board, going their meetings, and some committees [ as a public comment person with time that is always briefly alotted for these attenders].

Or continue to try and try and try again to reach someone who is also "listening" back to what KPFK's customers want. To be heard when you are upset about some dysfunction or prejudices... or want something changed... or you want to be positive and make a suggestion.... and want to help improve your station.

Maybe hard-copy PO mail is the retro way to be noticed and be known as a contributor again.

Maybe there is no way, with the station's usual excuse of "no money" and "not enough staff" and "no time"..same old go-away-stories... and who has not be put off by that regular denial of access when you are those who pay for keeping this station alive ?

Thank you Terry for all your work in providing us all with this valuble insider hard-learned over time information. You state it as it sounds like it actually is, w/o giving the usual corporate [non-profits are too ] veneer of "we're ok so dont bother us any more". Thank you for telling us so much !

if WBAI - KPFK's affiliate station in NY - cant fiinancially make it on it's own....

[this is an edited reposting from ]

if WBAI cant fiinancially make it on it's own....

Indymedia in LA had a rather informative article but slanted, as usual.It had lots of detail, and also seemed intended to eliminate Grace Aaron, the interim Executive Director of Pacifica, and straining to defeat any actions she may even think of trying to keep this NY failed station going.

Ok, "JUC " [article's author? with a website listed as 'justice unity'] so you dont like her, nor agree with her methods, and you question her qualifications, keep finding any fault with her in so many ways [except her pink skin so far] and want more power to do whatever....

have not the management and staff and Pacifica National Board already attempted to assist WBAI's stabilization and been unsuccessful ?

Was not the prior CFO [comptroller] part of the team that wanted to use LA's KPFK building as mortgage for a loan that could also fail and endanger that station's survival ?

Was not the prior CFO noted to be not sharing his accounting information to all management that could /should have access to oversight and thus he left the impression to many that he was perhaps hiding 'some things' or not being transparent as necessary?

Did the prior CFO not use his power to eliminate prior iED's and keep / contain his sole power [the one over money, a big one when others cannot audit or have up to date numbers as needed for proper management and allocations] ?

The history of lawsuits within the Pacifica stations is strangely profuse, frequent and apparently profitable.Shenanigans, games, shrewd moves intended to get capture hold More Power and Positions seems to be the main ploys within all the stations and their national overseers as well. Can this be changed ?

How can any positive moves be made when everyone is busy maligning and accusing and hating 'the other' who may take or change or make a different move ?

Has Grace Aaron, who needs no one to defend her, tho many love to shout and declaim and defame her, possibly because she remains calm, cool, reasonable, active and helpful...has this iED been so harmful and neglectful or acted stupidly so far ?Or is the fear of any woman, especially, white secondly, older thirdly, is this fear based on not wanting her to have any power to help any part of Pacifica ?
not even WBAI in it's financial collapse ?

Where are the other 'facts' and stories about what has occurred to get WBAI in such a sad and sick state anyhow ?

Let's not just accuse and malign. Let's give more than one story, as there are even more than merely 2 sides.What else is happening and who is trying to HOLD ON to whatever small space/ power/ position/ attention they can grab or hoard ? It always seems easy to warn and accuse and threaten havoc. How difficult it is to allow or help make changes that are actually needed.

Nothing is ever guaranteed. No one is a hero or savior. Especially not at Pacifica or it's crews. They are all wannabees and dedicated passionate 'helpers' who think they can do more than they actually can. But if there are some people with management skills, with temperaments that can handle all the hate and implied insults constantly thrown at them, then they need to be allowed to try, to experiment, to in good-faith improve what has been fast falling DOWN DOWN DOWN...

Each station must hold up their own end and expenses. No Bail Outs here either No station can afford to support another sliding down entity. This dysfunctional family of Pacifica stations cannot and has not been positively allied with their own so far, and in this financial climate, how could they do more now ?

No More Bail Outs. Not even for WBAI.