Greetings! I’m “Sister” Charlene Muhammad. I’m running for the KPFK Local Station Board to help maintain Pacifica’s Mission to promote the full distribution of public information and to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium.
I’m running to help KPFK reach more listeners and eradicate its debt. I feel both are linked. If KPFK feeds the people, the people will feed KPFK.
I would use my 18 years experience as an award-winning, international print journalist for The Final Call Newspaper (and contributor to New America Media, Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Watts Times, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association) and 12 years as an award-winning radio broadcast programmer and reporter in service to KPFK and its listeners through the Local Station Board.
I am also running for the Local Station Board to help end the marginalization of Black and Spanish Language programmers. Our community is rich and universal, however, over time I’ve watched KPFK begin to marginalize Black and Spanish Language programmers by pre-empting African programming and holding a fund drive during Black History Month and abruptly moving programs without dialogue or sufficient notice, for instance.
When I began volunteering in 2000 as a programmer, stringer and then became a staff reporter in the KPFK News Room, I witnessed the success and productivity of not just the ethnically diverse staff of KPFK News and Free Speech Radio News, but also at our listeners’ connection and accessibility to the news staff and programmers, because we were in the community more then. I bring up the past here to note what worked, which brings me back to why I’ve decided to run for the Local Station Board. KPFK’s power is in part in the streets. It’s in our listeners. I’d like to see the station engage, welcome and serve them more. I’d like to help bring back the full KPFK newscast and with it the countless untold stories in communities that have remained dedicated to KPFK, but who’s stories are going untold.
The people’s fight for freedom, justice and equality is at an all time high – police brutality, mass incarceration, politics, youth incarceration, immigrants’ rights, veterans’ rights, the rights of the homeless, women’s rights, affordable housing, economic justice – everywhere we turn, people are fighting the status quo for their rights. While many media outlets are reporting on these matters affecting the community, I’d like to see KPFK return to and remain the station that is a part of the community. It can do this through community outreach and promotions, which would also help, grow listenership.
My commitment to KPFK and Pacifica is a matter of public record as is my commitment to my community and all peoples who suffer injustice, who are plagued by corruption in our society, and who need a voice to dialogue about that – not simply vent – but dialogue towards reaching solutions. I am running for the Local Station Board in hopes to expand my commitment.