top
East Bay
East Bay
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
KPFA is Trolling for Funds…Again
by Doug Buckwald
Monday Jul 29th, 2019 12:36 PM
KPFA has embarked on another fund drive. Although they call this one their "Summer Fund Drive", it should really be called the "make-up fund drive due to the public's failure to let us loot their pocketbooks sufficiently during the Spring Fund Drive."
KPFA is Trolling for Funds…Again

Doug Buckwald
Friday July 26, 2019 - 04:27:00 PM

KPFA has embarked on another fund drive. Although they call this one their "Summer Fund Drive", it should really be called the "make-up fund drive due to the public's failure to let us loot their pocketbooks sufficiently during the Spring Fund Drive."

Actually, this fund drive was not supposed to happen. During KPFA's Spring drive, one of the major enticements for listeners to donate was the promise of cancelling the Summer Fund Drive. The program hosts kept harping on their promise of a respite from fund-begging. However they abandoned this plan when the Spring drive faltered.

The promise simply disappeared! It was abruptly deleted from KPFA's talking points and sent down the "memory hole" where history vanishes without a trace. Here we are today, ostensibly with an all new, improved fund drive, that actually sounds very similar to the stale, boring, unsuccessful fund drive that concluded a few weeks ago. "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Earlier this week, Mitch Jeserich, host of the program Letters & Politics, offered his opinion that donating money to KPFA was a "sacred" act – a surprising claim. It might be sacred if KPFA's hosts were to come clean about who really makes the decisions at the station and the real reasons behind these decisions. I would be the first person to stand up and shout "Hallelujah!" if that happens.

Fundraising for the station wouldn't be so difficult if KPFA truly responded to the community. But it doesn't. Instead, KPFA is run by a small group of insiders who make all of the important decisions, often in defiance of the community's wishes.

The banner headline announcing KPFA's current fund drive concludes with these ringing words: "Please support truly independent media today!" There is unintentional truth in this statement. KPFA is truly independent in one sense – it is entirely independent of the wishes of the listeners who fund it. Instead, KPFA "management" takes OUR money and does with it whatever THEY wish to do.

Community radio doesn't exist if the community isn't directly involved in programming and personnel choices, which are the body and soul of broadcasting. Anything less is a hoax to promote the interests of one group over another behind a veil of unity. Do we have any real say in programming and personnel decisions at KPFA? Not at all. Therefore, we no longer have a community radio station.

But we do have the power of the purse. The only thing we can do is withhold donations until KPFA allows us to have a fundamental say in how the station is run. I don't think we should give another dime to KPFA unless station management restores the historical archives of 16 years of Bonnie Faulkner's "Guns and Butter" programs that were paid for solely by community donations. The destruction of these archives was reprehensible, if not criminal.

KPFA was born and nurtured as free speech radio. If we let KPFA get away with the censorship they are now practicing, we will certainly lose more alternative voices on KPFA in the future. But an even greater fear is that a corporate takeover may be in the works -- with the help of the insiders at KPFA. There have been increasing signs in recent years that the most important thing to these people is that they keep their jobs and their control of the station, even if it means completely abandoning the original mission of KPFA.

A corporate takeover and corporate funding may be just the option that they would welcome at this point. If they choose to follow this path, it would be a betrayal of epic proportions and a slap in the face to the many thousands of donors who have supported KPFA's ideals for the past seventy years.

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

donate now

$ 222.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network