TO: PACIFICA NATIONAL BOARD
FROM: DEMOCRACY NOW! STAFF
RE: PACIFICA CONTRACTS WITH NON-UNION, OFFSITE
SERVICE TO REPLACE DEMOCRACY NOW! NEWS
We have just learned that Pacifica has contracted with an
off-site, non-union news service to replace the first segment of
This comes after National Programming Director Stephen Yasko and
Executive Director Bessie Wash suspended the Democracy Now! Staff
without pay˜-for broadcasting off-site. We left WBAI after two
attacks -- one physical, one verbal ˆ yet management repeatedly
refused to allow us to broadcast from an offsite location.
In the daily segments which began last Friday and replace
Democracy Now!'s headlines, the anchor announces that she is
reporting "from the Pacifica newsroom." This is false. The news
service is called Feature Story News, and is provided from a remote
This is the first time Pacifica has sub-contracted out an entire
daily newscast. In addition, they have tried to pass it off as a
Pacifica production. Feature Story News‚ clients include Fox News
and Voice of America. (Voice of America is the radio propaganda arm
of the U.S. government. Its broadcasts are forbidden by law to air
in the U.S.)
As we seek protection from a workplace that our union has
declared unsafe, we are appalled that Pacifica is blocking our
broadcasts and that we have been suspended without pay˜-only to be
replaced by a non-union "content-provider," whose politics are
anathema to community radio.
All we are asking is that we be able to produce and broadcast
"Democracy Now!" from a safe and secure location until the problems
at WBAI are adequately investigated and resolved, and that our
suspensions are revoked and our pay re-instated.
Listeners have for years given us their trust, and their money,
to produce the only independent, nationally broadcast, grassroots
newsmagazine in this country. We owe them no less. We implore you to
take immediate action, and restore us to every Pacifica station and
Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!
Kris Abrams, producer of
Brad Simpson, producer of Democracy
Anthony Sloan, engineer of Democracy Now!