[News] KPFA's Hard Knock Radio needs your help
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 10 19:41:40 EST 2010
Knock Radio needs your help!
November 10, 2010
Rally to build KPFAs audience in communities of
color and diverse communities! Thursday, Nov. 11,
4:30 p.m., KPFA, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley
Knock Radio 94.1 to KPFA listeners and
supporters from programmers of color at KPFA
Throughout its more than 61 years of existence,
KPFA has served as an outlet for diverse
communities whose voices otherwise would not have
access to the medium of radio and especially
listener sponsored radio. The formation of the
Third World Department in 1973 came after a
bitter strike and walkout by programmers who felt
that the voices of their diverse communities were
not being represented at KPFA.
The strike and lockout of 1999 was directly
responsible for the establishment of both Apex
Express, focusing on the Asian community, and
Hard Knock Radio, a drive time hip hop public
affairs show. These programs represented the
culmination of months of struggle that included
demonstrations, arrests and meetings by KPFA supporters.
We are all painfully aware that KPFA is currently
undergoing both financial and program challenges
that threaten to dramatically affect the type of
programming and staff that is part of KPFA radio.
These challenges will require that the KPFA paid
and unpaid staff work together as hard as
possible to ensure the survival and growth of
listener sponsored KPFA radio. The programs and
programmers that represent diverse communities
and communities of color can play a crucial role
in engaging new listeners and broadening the base of KPFA.
As programmers and staff of color who represent
diverse communities, we are very concerned that
programming and staffing decisions will be made
without the type of transparent dialogue that
best ensures our collective unity, survival and
growth of the radio station. The use of the
Arbitron radio rating system to assess the
listenership of KPFA programs, especially those
that might have a larger appeal to diverse
communities, is flawed and not in the best
interest of the growth and mission of KPFA.
It also gives validity to a system that was
summarily sued by attorney generals in several
states, including New York and Florida, and by
urban outlets from all over the country because
it has not reflected the diversity and full
impact of minority communities. Why would KPFA,
of all stations, use a tool with such a shoddy
reputation? Flawed radio rating systems are not
an effective tool to evaluate or build our audiences and programming.
The attempts to arbitrarily change the 7 p.m.
weekday time slot and the attempts to eliminate
the host of Transitions on Traditions are
specific examples of unhealthy and undemocratic
process. We are alarmed that other major changes
are being proposed that will eliminate
programmers of color without a process where the
programmer, a program council, union or any other
internal KPFA body would be involved in the decision process.
The potential elimination of Hard Knock Radio is
a political insult to our communities and the
mission of the Pacifica radio network. Hard Knock
Radio has existed for more than a decade as the
most prominent program addressing the hip hop
generation and underserved communities. Its
outstanding reputation is both national and international.
The programmers of color who work at KPFA have
long standing contacts in the broader community
and had have worked and supported KPFA in a
variety of capacities. We are concerned that
program changes for diverse programmers of color
are being proposed and made as KPFA is in the
process of selecting a new general manager and
installing a new local station board.
The programs that speak to our diverse
communities include a wide range of public
affairs, music, arts and news programs. These
programs and their hosts provide
multi-dimensional programs that include music,
interviews, analysis, news updates and direct
participation by our local and national communities.
Programs such as Point of Departure, In Your Ear,
Transitions on Traditions, Music of the World and
the Womens Magazine will be essential if we are
to grow and build a new audience. An inclusive
process that takes advantage of the wealth of
skills and contacts that we have at the station
will be essential to strengthening the station in all of our best interests.
These programs are NOT simply music programs or
single issue focus programs but represent in the
broadest sense programs that reflect the
diversity of the KPFA listening community. As we
consider the aging out of public radio, we need
to use all available tools to strengthen our collective mission.
The voices of our diverse communities of color
and gender should not fall prey to untransparent
and undemocratic programming dialogues and thus
face exclusion and elimination that would ignore
the long history of the need for our voices to be
represented on the airways. KPFA and Pacifica
must continue to be media that is cognizant of
the issues of race, gender and underrepresented
communities. The best method for achieving this
goal is to have a transparent, inclusive and
honest set of processes that is respectful of our
diverse communities and our collective struggle as a radio station.
Under no circumstance should we see these diverse
voices as expendable or less valued in our
process of restructuring. Syndicated programs
proposed management, however excellent, cannot
replace these voices, which are deeply connected
to grassroots struggles of underrepresented and
marginalized communities in the Bay Area.
Our communities have fought for, sacrificed for
and worked hard for KPFA, and the stations
budget must not be balanced on their backs. They
deserve and demand to be represented fairly and
honestly. If we are to stand on principles of
diversity and anti-racism, then those voices and
those communities need to be treated with respect on KPFA and Pacifica airways.
Hands off Hard Knock Radio!
Hard Knock Radio, hosted by Davey D and Anita
Johnson, is broadcast every weekday at 4-5 p.m.
on KPFA 94.1 FM and kpfa.org, where archived
shows are available for two weeks following their broadcast.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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