Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pacifica in Exile web site launched...

A new web site has been launched to help Pacifica listeners learn more of the inside info they need to know. If you are disenchanted and find yourself listening sparingly, don't give up hope. There are still people on the inside who care what becomes of your station and the Foundation that ultimately sets its course.

Listeners to WBAI and other Pacifica stations often have trouble understanding why there are so many internal problems. One major issue is that mismanagement has helped to create serious chronic debt and a personal need to cover it up. Air time given over to fundraising drives has increased and morphed into one- or two-hour long infomercials that often benefit outside marketers of questionable products and services. We see this practice escalating as returns to normal programming all but vanish. The listenership has dwindled to an all-time low at WBAI, but nothing is done to inspire its return. The level of programming remains sub-standard and even the station's own web site maintains management's secrecy. When some figures for the last (and, alas, ongoing) drive finally leaked out, we were given a multiple choice option as to what had been raised!

Fundraising marathons are by nature intrusive, but there was a time when the programming was intelligent and only one annual drive sufficed. There were always some problems that had to be discussed and solved, but there was a weekly live program for that: Report to the Listener. It's the kind of open discussion one can have when there are no secrets, but today, when even the WBAI GM's whereabouts is unknown, such a report and exchange is not possible. Oh, they have had a couple in he past decade, but—like the station itself—they were outrageously dishonest.

WBAI's management has the vision of a bat in sunlight. It is inept, irresponsible and corrupt. Unfortunately, much the same can be said of the Pacifica National Board's current ruling faction. One can blame Pacifica's problems on a number of factors, but most stem from problems with governance—the people who members of the stations elect.

The first step in remedying this (if it is not already too late) is to restore the intellectual level of the listenership and encourage participation in the Board elections. This is one important reason why a faithful group of true Pacifica supporters has launched a new web site. The Pacifica in Exile newsletter (Tracy Rosenberg's labor of love) has been around for quite some time, its purpose being to help concerned Pacificans get the news behind the news of Pacifica. This new web site is a new step in that direction.

The articles posted on the inaugural site will help you understand the issues, and rest assured that there are many more to come. I hope you become a regular reader so that you may keep up with who's doing what, and better prepare yourself to cast an informed VOTE in the upcoming delegate (board) elections.  —Chris Albertson

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