Noam Chomsky, Ed Herman and Howard Zinn to Pacifica Board:
Reject Corporate Models, Commit to Democratic Forms of Governance


February 24, 1999

Dr. Mary Berry, Chair
Pacifica Foundation
1929 Martin Luther King Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

 As long-time admirers and supporters of Pacifica, we are troubled by apparent tendencies toward increased centralization of power and decision-making that bring Pacifica closer to the private corporate model. Pacifica's strength and legitimacy grew from the knowledge and confidence of its listeners that it was based and directed from within their respective communities and spoke to their interests. Its service as an educational resource as well as a vital outlet for journalism in the public interest arose from its refusal to focus on market share in the corporate mode.

With the question of the mode of governance at issue in the forthcoming board meeting, we would strongly urge the board to celebrate Pacifica's 50th birthday by a firm commitment to democratic forms of governance and participation. We can think of no better way to honor a half century of listener-sponsored radio than by strong endorsement of the principles that made it possible and successful.


                         Noam Chomsky,
              Massachusetts Institute of Technology

                         Edward S. Herman
                    University of Pennsylvania

                          Howard Zinn
                       Boston University

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