It was not always smooth sailing, but who could successfully argue against honest dissemination and discussion of the world around us? Who could deny the wisdom of telling it like it is and projecting how it well might be in the future?
Lew Hill was not against commercial broadcasting, per se, but much of what he heard over post-war airwaves was light entertainment and small talk with news that often followed government or Wall Street dictates. KPFA would not tell its audience which path to take, but it would offer all sides of an issue equipping listeners to make their own, informed decisions; programming decisions were not popularity-based in the Pacifica of Lew Hill's day—nor over a decade later, when I came to WBAI, and no listener was expected to like everything aired. In fact, the opposite was desired—preaching to the chorus promotes stagnation, which is what characterizes today's so-labeled "community" radio.
I was going to comment on the linked article, point by point, but I think regular readers of this blog have a good idea of where I stand, so I urge, instead, you to read it and share your thoughts as to its content and significance.
The Guardian article by Rory Carroll.