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Hi, I’m Ann Salisbury Doneen a media consultant who believes a radio station should not only broadcast to its community, but should listen as well. Radio reflects the spirit of the time, the spirit of the people. And now, today — amid so much irrational strife and conflict — radio needs to offer more context and understanding. Because understanding leads to peace.

A look at my background indicates some of the ways my presence can benefit KPFK’s Local Station Board. As a broadcast news investigations producer (KCBS) in the mid-80s, my work exposing the Signal Hill Police Department’s brutal treatment—and subsequent murder — of a Black Long Beach State Collage football star won a coveted Columbia School of Journalism Alfred I. DuPont award for the station. At TV Guide magazine, I discovered a national network news editor whose Hitlerian mustache and dictatorial behavior encouraged reporters to do “Heil Hitler” salutes in the newsroom. I also exposed the production company of a popular children’s sitcom where dealers distributed cocaine on the set. The L.A. Herald Examiner sent me to Southeast Asia to cover the Boat People. I interviewed refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam who had crammed into tiny junks entering the Hong Kong Harbor, risking their lives escape the fall of Saigon. I served as public affairs director for California State University, Northridge for five years, and Art Center College of Design for two, and I’ve spent more than 10 years leading grass roots organizations that now include the Malibu Democratic Club. I am fluent in Spanish; have a working knowledge of French; and have traveled extensively throughout America’s back roads interviewing Native Americans. I have enjoyed chatting, sharing and eating with the people of Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. What did I learn? That governments differ but their people are the same, loving their children, honoring their parents, wanting fair wages, safe settings, and to learn, to speak freely, to be healthy, to pursue happiness, and have a voice that others respect.

As a rule a journalist does not join political groups. Their goal is to stay objective. But although my stories were known for poignance and irony, some political themes began to emerge: those of dignity, respect and appreciation. Because by nature, the human condition is political. So, it was natural to segue into activism. I registered voters; worked for environmental causes, championed public education. And, of course: Democracy! Equal rights to all, including minorities, women and LGBTs.

But wait.


While America symbolizes freedom, today’s headlines form a bleak national portrait also stained with racism and violence. Yet, I still believe there is hope. KPFK provides the people with a public voice. We need now to engage more fully with each community, model good communications skills, and build momentum. KPFK can rally for good and help unify; it can become our beacon of hope.


Optional Questions (push the plus sign to see the answers)

In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
KPFK has many talk shows on topical community issues. These are great shows already, but I think extensive community outreach in communities discussed on these shows could boost the listening audiences. Also, audience engagement can be encouraged by establishing a calendar and working with community organizations which would co-host broadcasts periodically. It might even be interesting to create unlikely partnerships to further foster understanding as conflicts are resolved for the broadcast itself.

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?
No Response.

What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station’s mission?
A journalistic, public relations, activist, and community organizing background.

What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
Make KPFK not just a station project, but a community project! Creatively as well as financially. It’s YOUR station! Target local progressive benefactors to find projects that match their interests and the station’s interests. Work with activist groups to broaden their own bases of support, and, in the process, provide KPFK promotional programs and materials. Through PSAs and through outreach teach the public that KPFK is on OUR side, supporting home town goals and community projects. Be there for the public. Create people-to-people KPFK teams that venture out, make friends, and seek opinions. Help democracy thrive. Develop powerful slogans, powerful messaging, powerful, memorable, and poignant spots. Cross promote a variety of community groups and organizations. Such as KPFK nights at big local events. Sports programs and PTAs in underserved areas. Involve children. Involve hospitals. Involve the many social organizations and charities that serve specific constituencies throughout the Southland. Broadcast live from community festivals such as Cinco de Mayo at Olvera Street, Chumash Day in Malibu, Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Martin Luther King Day ceremonies. Work with specific local leaders to spread the word. We are there for you, but you need to be there for us as well. When Amy Goodman travels to report on news, reach out to interested benefactors for involvement. Inspire communities not just to think in terms of financial contributions, but creative ways to spread the world as well. Inspire local groups to come up with their own promotions: A contest, perhaps, for best KPFK T-shirts? (KPFK MEANS. . . . fill in the blank?) Involve local university public relations classes in developing their own projects, with the most feasible ones being executed in partnership with the station.

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