From the the San Francisco Bay Guardian
April 30, 1997
Letters to the Editor
The Bay Guardian's coverage has raised important questions about KPFA and the Pacifica network.
At KPFA and at Pacifica's other four radio stations, management insists that employees and volunteers must be accountable to management. Fine. But accountability should flow in both directions.
There is no mechanism requiring that management be accountable to employees, volunteers, or listeners who support the station. More than ever, Pacifica's various "advisory" panels are transparent window dressing. It's sad to see management mimicking so much that is odious about corporate techniques of attacking unions and striving for P.R. damage control. Meanwhile, Pacifica management remains accountable only to an unelected national board.
(Are these just theoretical concerns? Hardly. During the 1960s and 1970s, Seattle had a very fine listener-supported radio station, KRAB. But the board of directors for the Jack Straw Foundation, which owned KRAB, was not accountable to anyone. After receiving a big-money offer, the board sold the station's frequency. Today, there's no progressive radio station in Seattle.)
If Pacifica stations deserve continued support -- and they do -- then the network's supporters deserve genuine accountability.
NORMAN SOLOMON Oakland