For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, April 20, 1999


BERKELEY, CA ---- KPFA, the founding station of the Pacifica National Radio Network, celebrated 50 years of listener-sponsored public radio on April 15.  True to KPFA culture and historical tradition, the celebration was involved in controversy, dissent and difference of opinion.  Dissent and disagreement are rooted cultural values of KPFA's home community- Berkeley, California.  The Pacifica family consist (sic) of five stations nationwide, (Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C. and Houston) that hold strong convictions and continually raise issues that require our commitment to reassess deeply held beliefs and differences.

Today, fifty years after our first broadcast, our five Pacifica stations have more potential and resources than ever before, including:

* 63 affiliates served by our satellite system

* A website that broadcasts our programs to a world-wide audience

* An archive that is conserving a historic record of 50 years of the progressive movement in the United States and beyond

* A national and international presence and reputation for excellence in the broadcast media

It is precisely because of our achievments - achievements gained through the commitment and sacrifice of thousands of individuals over the past 50 years, that we shoulder a tremendous responsibility to plan for a future that will support our survival for future generations of activists.

In 1996, the Pacifica Radio Network engaged in a long range planning process to set our course for the next millennium.  In 1998, we adopted a long range plan, A VISION FOR PACIFICA RADIO; CREATING A NETWORK FOR THE 21ST CENTURY that included the involvement of all Pacifica units, staff and local advisory boards, the national governing board and individuals. It calls for Pacifica to function as a unified national network while maintaining and supporting local programming.  It also acknowledges and mandates Pacifica to deploy our resources more efficiently by centralizing many of our administrative functions and oversight.  It is our belief that the fulfillment of our long-range plan wil implement the Pacifica vision to carry the many varied voices of the progressive movement, in cultural as well as political dialogue -- across the country.

We are committed to developing a quality national radio system.  We realize that as we seek to grow in strengh and significance, we must face and cope with institutional change - a slower process than adopting technological change. We must adapt to procedures and discipline based in Pacifica policies, and in prudent radio station management in all contemporary aspects.  [who wrote this shit?]

Personal and personnel growth and development is a constant challenge to all institutions.  Pacifica is no exception.  We are a national organization.  We have rules of conduct that require self-discipline and organizational vigilance.  Our long-standing policy against airing internal disputes goes to the core of collective discipline.  This policy does not weaken our mission, it protects it.  And even with our internal agreement there still exists a forum to conduct a dialogue with our constituents about internal policy such as the Monthly Manager's Report to the Listeners.

On occasion, such as currently exists at KPFA, there are personnel issues where people will take sides.  However, legal constraints as well as internal principles of agreement to not discuss or share our personal issues with the public, bind the Pacifica national staff and Board. This places us at a disadvantage but our listeners would be at greater disadvantage if we allowed a provocation to lead to legal action that could threaten our very existence.

We ask that you, our audience and our community, continue to bring your passion to Pacifica and that you support us as we work to fulfill the goals of our strategic plan which will require change.  We need and we respect your involvement and participation as we all grow and get better.

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