KPFA Report from Washington - KPFA 8:30 a.m. 6/27/99
Andrea Buffa, Executive Director of Media Alliance, and a member of the delegation representing KPFA at the Pacifica Board meeting in Washington, D.C., called in with this report:
Mary Berg: I think we're all getting hurt here. So, can you tell me what's going on.
Andrea Buffa: OK. I'm one of the people on the emergency Bay Area delegation that came out to the Pacifica Board of Directors meeting to alert the Board about the crisis that's going on at KPFA and try to do everything we could to get them to get something in motion that would resolve the crisis. We have been working with Board members for two days straight. We met with them last night as the Bay Area delegation. This morning they are just about to complete the formal Board meeting, and we're gonna to into the public comment session. And I can tell what we have so far.
Mary Berg: Yeah. Please do.
AB: OK. One thing we have been able to present, I'm glad
to say, is that as they were about to seat a new Board member, Karen Van
Putten (sp?), from the KPFA signal area, and they did not do that.
If they had done that, we let the Board members know it would have been
a slap in the face to the KPFA community, because Karen Van Putten is a
friend of Lynn Chadwick and is already been involved in the dispute at KPFA, and has done things that have offended the
staff and the community. And, Mary, you can probably talk more about that at some point...
MB: Oh, yes...So that's great news.
AB: Yeah, we convinced the Board not to seat her.
AB: The second thing that happened is Mary Frances Berry put forth
a statement that was approved by the Board. Basically, at the beginning
of the statement they condemn racist and violent threats against the Pacifica
staff. And I just want to put out to the listeners, because obviously not
our whole community or the majority of the community that is doing this,
but there are some people who are threatening Pacifica staff with violence,
and who are using racial epitaphs..epithets. And..It has to stop.First,
because it's wrong, and because it's hurting our cause. We've had to prove
to the Board members that that is not who the
majority of us are. So, that's the beginning of the statement. The statement expresses the Board's support for the Executive
Director Lynn Chadwick, which we are not happy with. What it does do that could possibly be moving forward, it talks about
the mediation, a [unclear] conciliation instead of mediation, which is probably problematic. But what it does express is that they would be open to be including more parties in that than just the union staff at KPFA. They would be open to including members of the community, which could mean a stakeholder committee that has been forming. And, I'm sure you can tell people more about that, so I'll just finish up.
They also offered all the stations a one-hour time slot every month during which they could talk about Pacifica issues on the air.
AB: That was kind of their gesture to allow some kind of freedom of speech on the air, because they're very very unhappy about the way the KPFA staff is speaking out about the dispute at Pacifica.
So, you know, I'm sure from their perspective they've made quite a lot of movement. From our perspective, we're just constantly fighting what we feel is an information blockade. The Board members were given that information from the Pacifica staff about who we are, what's involved in the struggle and that...And, you know, they're increasing the security presence at the station, which is very troubling. And I'll be making a strong statement about that at the public comment session. And we're just gonna keep fighting, and I think that they're moving a little bit, and I'm just not sure that it's far enough, and I just hope everybody will think about it, and think what we could do effectively...you know, save our station, make sure that our station has integrity and independence. And, you know, that we expect that the best possible results are for the community and the KPFA listeners and staff.
MB: Well, I thank you for that. You know, we are not talking of internal matters, and I hope you can make that point. We are talking about public matters of Pacifica's accountability and its lack of accountability to the people who pay for it...
MB: ...and also it's very questionable management on the part of.. I'm hearing this from the listeners who pay the money. I am not saying it. I'm relaying to you that this latest endeavor to try to get people to ask for their money back or not pay their pledges is.. another very enraging thing out in the community among all kinds of people.
I read a little bit about this racial thing. I understand somebody quoted a phrase from Malcom X. People around the station who are people of color have been using that phrase with me in personal conversations quite a bit lately. So that's possibly why it was said, because it's being said quite a bit...
AB: Well....[unclear]... they've created a big problem for us, and we need to address it when we get back home, and we....
MB: That's very true. But for now...
AB: ...[talking over - unclear]..diverse [unclear] and diverse KPFA. And at the same time, you know these issues never came up before we hit D.C., and I'm not sure why. And just..these people have it to use against us, and I know they're gonna use against us whatever they can.
MB: Well, it's unfortunate, but I know you're trying to everything
you can. But conciliation is indeed a bad process, because it does
not allow us to put the..our issues on the table, the conciliator chooses
what issues will be allowed on the table. That's my
understanding. If you can get some clarification about that...
AB: I will.
MB: ..because what we wanted was indepen...That's what everyone else is asking -- everyone is asking...Independent mediation by a mediator chosen among people we both agree on, not someone presented to us by only one party. So, I realize you're in an uphill battle..
AB: Yeah, I understand. The whole Bay Area delegation understands that we're just trying to push these people further, and as far as we can before we get back...
MB: I hear that, and you're doing a great job. I know that you're doing all you can. So, meanwhile we're trying to get support for our rally here at 5 o'clock tomorrow...
MB: ..and keep up the good work...
AB: OK. Thank you....
MB: Is anyone gonna be calling back? Do you know, this morning with any further news. Has all the voting happened already?
AB: The voting has happened already...
MB: I see. So, there's no other...
AB: We'll call back after the public comment period.
AB: All right. Thanks, Mary.
MB: Thank you.
NOTE: From Correspondent Stevenson:
Mary Berg was scheduled to have two guests on her show this morning, and apparently Pacifica now only allows one guest at a time because of security reasons, mentioned by Mary earlier in the broadcast.
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