October 26, 1999

Marty Durlin, KGNU (303) 449-4885

16 Radio Stations to Boycott Pacifica Network Programming on October 27
Affiliate stations from coast to coast protest lack of accountability at the radio network two days before the Pacifica Foundation board of directors meeting in Houston, TX.

16 Pacifica Affiliates radio stations across the United States will  boycott Pacifica programming on Wednesday, October 27, to show their concern about recent events at KPFA and within its parent organization, the Pacifica Foundation. In the past year, Pacifica stations lost their representatives to the national governing board; the manager of KPFA and several programmers were abruptly dismissed, leading to mass demonstrations and 100 arrests; Pacifica spent nearly $500,000 on armed guards and public relations; the station was locked up and programmers shut out for 21 days; and despite denials, rumors persist of a sale of KPFA or WBAI or both. The core issues are unresolved, and continue to threaten the nation's oldest listener-supported community radio station, its sister stations and the national program service which produces and distributes "Democracy Now!" and the Pacifica Network News.

At the heart of this struggle is the idea that Pacifica should practice what it preaches; that the progressive ideals that have been championed by Pacifica in its 50-year history should be realized in its internal affairs; that a public radio station can and should be accessible and accountable to the public.

The Pacifica debacle is the single best example of the cancer that has been eating at noncommercial media for more than a decade, disempowering communities in the name of professionalization, commercializing the airwaves in the guise of development, centralizing authority in the name of efficiency, and promoting high production values at the expense of local color.

Pacifica's programming is still unique in its courage to tackle the most difficult issues of our time. The voices heard on Pacifica include every major figure in progressive politics and art in the last half-century, along with those of grassroots organizers and political activists -- most voices that would not have been heard otherwise, because their messages were not palatable to the commercial media or their corporate sponsors.

In boycotting that programming for one day, we wish to focus on the incalculable value of progressive, independent news coverage. To all the Pacifica journalists who lift our airwaves above the commercial wasteland by reporting honestly and thoroughly on the issues of peace and justice, energy and the environment, world trade, labor activity, police brutality,  U.S. covert action, poverty, health and health care, drug issues, weapons dealing, corporate monopoly, and so on...we applaud your work and urge you to continue. To the management and board of Pacifica, we urge you -- as have thousands of others in this country -- to adopt open, accountable governance and support of the community-based journalism that has made Pacifica great.

Pacifica affiliates participating in the boycott include: 
KBOO, Portland, OR; 
KCSB, Santa Barbara, CA; 
KDUR, Durango, CO; 
KGNU, Boulder, CO; 
KKFI, Kansas City, MO; 
KMUD, Redway, CA; 
KRZA, Alamosa, CO; 
KSVR, Mount Vernon, WA; 
KUNM, Albuquerque, NM; 
KZYX, Philo, CA; 
WERU, East Orland, ME; 
WGDR, Plainfield, VT; 
WJFF, Jeffersonville, NY; 
WMNF, Tampa, FL; 
WORT, Madison, WI; 
WRPI, Troy, NY.