My name is Dani, and I owe WBAI my life. I was the walking dead before I wondered into their Wall St. office on that freezing January afternoon. I thought I was looking for an internship in broadcasting – hell bent on making my mark on this industry. What I received instead was like that of a warm embrace from a loved one. I couldn’t believe how vibrant the place was! You had to hug the walls because of all the exciting activity taking place. Every office had a hand full of people at all times and you could almost smell the, “midnight oil” burning. The fund drives were especially moving; replacing decades of frustration and anger with knowledge and understanding. After my first PSA aired, I remember thinking to myself, “We’re in the big leagues now.”
Then Superstorm Sandy. Then the layoffs…
I want to help WBAI return to it’s greatness. I believe the most effective means of doing so is through working with the Local Station Board and Upper management. Coordinated efforts between both entities along with support from an actively engaged community will ensure Pacifica’s legacy continues.
The ABC’s start with A-B-C. We have to revisit the basics.
1). Resources are available in abundance, as long as you are looking for them. Deploy an advisement committee to assess the needs of the community and provide engagement opportunities for individuals with skill sets needed by WBAI. Many professionals are willing to offer their services to WBAI free of charge.
2). Review the duties and responsibilities of the General Station Manager and annually prepare in-depth written evaluations. A comprehensive analysis shall be drafted of all details assigned to the main operating position of WBAI.
3). Conduct town hall meetings. Open call shall be held biannually to ensure transparency and provide a platform for community involvement. Forums will be developed at conjoined events throughout the tri-state area.
4). Provide a bridge across the generational gap. It is pivotal for the survival of Pacifica to train, educate and develop a consignment of broadcaster’s in order to propel us into a changing market. Posts shall be set on or near college campuses branding ‘BAI colors, enlisting youthful intellects. Tutoring initiatives shall be implemented for the young, where the Arts will be the foundation of lecture.
5). Workplace conduct. Understandable: We are in a creative business, i.e. the creative, “Juices” must be allowed to flow. In no way does that mean the integrity of the Foundation shall be compromised. Visibly posted shall be a code of conduct and it is the responsibility of every Pacifica member to adhere to and hold all visitors and staff accountable.
The Mission Statement will no longer be regarded as toilet tissue and we will no longer stand idly, watching as we gradually become the very evil we sore to fight against.
- In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve? We can rest assured that the skeleton staff that runs WBAI is performing at peek proficiency. There is a constant rotation of volunteers and interns to help perform day-to-day operations. Perhaps community outreach initiatives would encourage off-site staging.
- In what ways are the station moving in a negative direction, that you would want to stop or change? What changes would you work for? It seems tradition has become habit; consequently WBAI has fallen behind the times. Far too often, new and innovative ideas are immediately shot down by the, “more seasoned” veteran’s. There ought to be more inclusiveness with regards to programming and promotion. Specific changes I would incorporate include: re-positioning our demographics to college-aged individuals, producing and promoting more live events, and seasonal give-back drives (i.e. a coat drive during the winter months).
- What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station’s mission? I have cultivated relationships with neighboring establishments near our Atlantic Ave. headquarters, I am in constant contact with both local and national organizations whose core values and mission statements mirror WBAI’s. Fund raising efforts that I have implemented in the past can be reinstated, along with a, “street team” dedicated to promoting WBAI.
- What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced? One crucial aspect of maintaining a foundation such as Pacifica is promotion. A community-based radio station HAS to be involved with the community in ways that do not always result in us asking the community for money. We can subsidize our spending by utilizing services and processes that the community is volunteering to us for free! Open call for talent and service auditions can be held to enlist the help of those we claim to be serving.