Call for On-Air Fairness at KPFA

We the undersigned KPFA listeners, sponsors, and staff members believe it's important that KPFA keep listeners informed about major issues involving the station and Pacifica, including disputes over budgets, staffing, labor policies, and programming. We do not, however, believe that one-sided, misleading reports and sniping about these issues serve that goal. We therefore propose that the station adopt a fairness policy for coverage of such issues. The essence of the policy is that whenever internal controversies are discussed on air, alternative positions should be fairly represented. Specifically, we propose that: a) When major controversies arise, the station should arrange special programming to discuss them on the air. These programs should have fair and neutral host(s), board operators, and call screeners; guests representing different points of view and all major constituencies (paid staff, unpaid staff, management, and listeners); and time for listeners to pose questions and comments. b) When the KPFA news team reports on internal issues, it should adhere to standard practices of good journalism - i.e., assign such stories to reporters who are not directly involved in the conflict; give all parties a fair chance to explain their positions in their own words; avoid advocacy for one side or another; and, if directing listeners to websites or other sources, include sources from a variety of perspectives. (Such policies are nothing new - they are already spelled out in guidelines the KPFA news department itself adopted years ago - but they need to observed more carefully than they have been in recent months.) c) Other programmers, paid and unpaid, should also refrain from one-sided comments on internal conflicts on the air. This policy applies to, among other things, ‘tags’ introducing or describing shows, fundraising pitches, characterization of former or current staff and management, and promotion of outside events. Programmers who wish to state a personal position on internal controversies must allow equal time for opposing viewpoints. If directing listeners to websites or other sources about such issues, they should include sources representing opposing points of view.


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    Robin Gaura, Mexico

    2 years ago Comments: I am a long time member and listener. I happen to be Puerto Rican/Polish and grew up in the silicon valley. I am living in Mexico now, and find your coverage essential. I do want to hear more black voices, more community issues. KPFA was devolving into a boring repeat radio news, and has made a good tack recently. Please tell Brian to stop the singsongy know it all voice tone, seems like he´s channeling ´the voice of authority´ from on high. He has also been extremely rude to an elderly woman on air, which I found to be offensive. Always respect women, Brian, and your elders! Too often, we let the mainstream propaganda media set the pace and tone. Only more voices and views can break that particular hypnosis. I´m not up on labor law, but in hard times workers should come together and split the pie, as well as put their heads together to make the pie bigger. How ironic that we keep forming the ´elites who control and make more money´ in our attempts to create radical alternatives. Can we have cop watch shows, with reports from community members? Let´s face it, the action is in the grassroots, who cares what the official liars say today. I have long thought that one way to insert reality into official narratives put forth is a well timed laugh track. Carry on, with my best wishes and prayers, KPFA is an idea, a beacon, let´s make it real. Oh, and why not rebroadcast black agenda report? Its the best.
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    Akio Tanaka, United States

    3 years ago Comments: -
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    Cathy Green, United States

    3 years ago Comments: I agree strongly with "When the KPFA news team reports on internal issues, it should adhere to standard practices of good journalism" and allow all parties of an issue to explain their perspective. This would be a huge improvement over past one-sided manipulation.
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