Dear friends and activists, what follows is a brief report,
first in about the bilingual conference on "Community Access to
Radio: KPFK/Pacifica" that took place on Saturday, 08-25-01, at
Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, CA.
Many activists and members of the Chicano/Mexicano/Latino
communities participated in this conference to analyze and debate
community access to KPFK 90.7 FM and the Pacifica Radio Network. The
conference lasted from 11 am to 4 PM and had the participation of
five speakers and the musical participation of "Son Real". 4 of the
5 presentations were in Spanish and three of them submitted texts.
The first speaker was Arturo Lemus, a community radio activist,
and he talked about the history, philosophy and importance of
Pacifica Radio. He spoke of the need to continue reaching out and
informing the various Spanish speaking communities about the
importance of progressive community radio and their own right to
access to this media.
The second speaker was Fernando Velásquez a purged radio producer
and volunteer with KPFK since the late ‘79’s, now banned from the
station. He started by talking about the dominance of a Euro-centric
view in our society and how that view penetrates all mainstream
media and, to a large extent also, Pacifica. He indicated that
Pacifica as a whole has allowed very little Spanish programming.
Even at KPFK, in Los Angeles, the Spanish programming has been
reduced and is totally insufficient to meet the information and
cultural needs of the Spanish speaking communities with in its
signal area. In addition, Fernando made some important proposals
about programming and Pacifica in the paper that he submitted.
The third speaker was Raymundo Reynoso, a journalist and founder
of the alternative media agency: AMATE. The title of his talk was
"Alternative Communication and Critical Consciousness". He indicated
that in these times, when the mass media is controlled by fewer and
fewer people, it is very important to create, support and multiply
alternative media projects. More over, he said that journalists that
are independent must also shake off the rules and behavioral
patterns imposed by the corporate media.
The fourth speaker was Leonore Lizardo, a community activist and
a previous member of the KPFK local Advisory Board and of the
Pacifica National Board in the ‘80’s. She spoke about her
experiences in those institutions. She explained that, even back
then, the Pacifica National Board was operating as and exclusive
group that tried to controlled new members and impose its program.
She said that there was very little openness and that if new members
did not submit they were treated as outsiders. She made a call for
people to get involved and demand openness and democracy out of
After about two hours of presentations, there was a break for
lunch and every one enjoyed the food prepared by our volunteers and
the beautiful music of "Son Real". Then came the fifth and main
speaker of the day, Juan Gonzalez.
Juan Gonzalez’s participation lasted close to one hour, including
questions and answers. He spoke, mostly, in Spanish and was very
clear and to the point. He said that from the point of view of the
commercial media, the Pacifica network is a very small network. It
only has five radio stations and its listener base is very small.
But in reality, Pacifica’s radio stations are located in five of the
most important cities in the United States (New York, Washington D.
C., Los Angeles, Berkeley and Houston) and, specially, here in Los
Angeles Pacifica has one of the most powerful radio signals. So what
one has to understand is the potential for communication in five of
the most important cities in the United States.
On another point, Mr. Gonzalez explored the economic importance
of Pacifica. He mentioned that recently a radio station in the AM
band in New York city had been sold for about 78 million dollars to
ESPN by a progressive Jewish community group. So the Pacifica radio
station in New York, WBAI, and in the FM band is worth around 130 to
150 million dollars. If you add the value of all the other Pacifica
radio stations then you find that Pacifica is the entity of most
economic value of all the left in the United States. The economic
value of the Pacifica radio signals has increased tremendously and
the progressives that have sustained and supported them did not
realize what they had and how others were trying to take it away.
From a political point of view, Juan Gonzalez indicated that
after the civil rights movements of the 60’s and the upsurge of new
immigrants to become citizens more and more people have the right to
vote and the mass media becomes much more important. Not only
because of the money that it brings in for the people that control
it, but, also, in the way that it can controls and influences the
citizenry. The U.S. is still a formal democracy and people have to
go out and vote and there is still the danger that they will vote
for some one that the people who are in power does not want them to
vote for. That is why is very important to control what people think
and the mass media and who controls it is very important.
Juan Gonzalez also explained that throughout its existence
Pacifica had been considered a "gadfly" by the political and media
establishment that could be tolerated. Then came the movement
against "globalization" and Pacifica starts to report and inform
about the movements that are rising up all over the world against
corporate globalization. Pacifica’s national program "Democracy
Now!" with its militant brand of journalism started developing a
mass listening audience and becoming a threat to the political and
economic establishment so it had to be stopped. The Pacifica network
had to be brought under centralize controlled and "sanitized".
*Se encuentra en 2 sitios ciberneticos el sonido de las
presentaciones del evento "La Partcipación de la Comunidad en la
Radio: KPFK/Pacifica" el 25 de Agosto 2001 en Loyola Law School-Los
Angeles CalifAztlan (detalles del programa abajo)
*At 2 sites you can find the sound from presentations
during the event "Community Access to Radio: KPFK/Pacifica" August
25 2001 at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles CalifAztlan (details of
the program below)
*Stream or download the audio from the Conference (217
STREAM the audio at 32kbps - MP3 Format
DOWNLOAD the mp3 (50MB Download) - right click on link and click
"save target as"
Programa del 25 de Agosto 2001 (3 1/2 horas/hours):
-Michelle Taylor Comité Pro Democracia en
-Arturo Lemus 'Radio Comunitaria/Pacifica-Community
Radio/Pacifica Radio' (Español)
-Fernando Velásquez 'Programación en Español/Pacifica &
Spanish Language Programming' (Español)
-Raymundo Reynoso 'Medios Alternativos/Alternative Media'
-Leonore Lizardo 'Nuestra Experiencia en la Mesa Directiva
Nacional y la Mesa Consejera Local de Pacifica/Our experience on the
Pacifica National Board of Directors & the Local Advisory Board'
-Juan Gonzalez 'La Crisis de Pacifica/The Pacifica Crisis'
-Diálogo Publico/Public Dialouge Bilingue/Bilingual
*Más info/Datos de organizadores del evento:
Arturo Lemus 213-382-4514 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Martínez 323-261-4513 email@example.com
Más info sobre la crisis de Pacifica/Info re: the Pacifica