Saturday, January 10, 2009

in re: WSKG not having a news department

It seems like a couple of GM's ago promised the FCC to maintain a news stringer in Ithaca as a condition of license renewal. That promise was not only not honored, shortly thereafter the entire news department was axed.

Public Broadcasting -- IN THEORY -- provides an important check on the commercial media w/r/t NEWS.

In theory, the news department of a publicly funded media with a charter to serve all the people, would not be affected by commercial biases found at WBNG WICZ WIVT WNBF PSB TWC who fund their news with advertising.

The failure of WSKG to honor the promise of regional non-commercial news is a huge loss of service to the community, and places the license in grave jeopardy of a petition to deny. License loss is a real possibility.

But what a sucky remedy for the people. We can fund it even if it sucks, or we can pull the plug.

The remedy of a DEMAND FOR PERFORMANCE TO SERVE THE PEOPLE is not available or recognized by law!!!

So what's wrong with this picture?

Six commercial news operations in town
Have all been made aware of an amazing story.

Over 1,000 families POOR - SICK - ELDERLY
Forcibly displaced from Binghamton Public Housing in 6 years.
A 28%/yr eviction rate.

Why won't they report or investigate this story?

One news director called me back but did not run the story.
(Same outlet shot a segment with Andre but did not run it).
One was too busy interviewing the new weather girl.

They can't run this story for two reasons.
1: Because it is complex with many players, and
can't be told with a 90-sec "news package".
2: Because, while it is the truth, indicts several
major advertisers, and the real people and systems of power.
Like NDG and SUNY/BU and Judges

This is where public broadcasting comes in!

And if you can't afford a news department,
at least you could invite community members to the mic
to report what is really going on in the community
and the play the kind of music the people really want
and stop PROGRAMMING us w/15.5 freaking hours
of classical music/day roboticly streamed from a satellite.

So, what again is the good reason
why you refuse access
to community producers?

I've asked 100 times, but
I never could get a straight answer from the last GM.
I've even pitched radio shows, and gave them my
Oneida documentary to play (sent back w/o explanation)

With BIG LOCAL STORIES being ignored by the commercial press,
and a collapse of the entire capitalist system, I think it's time we
start thinking about socialized / democratic media again.
PUBLIC ACCESS media. (The radio spectrum is, after all,
part of THE COMMONS).

We need to re-examine the charter of "Public Broadcasting",
and how well they are meeting that.

So why again are community radio and TV producers
denied access to the production facilities and
airwaves stewarded by WSKG, Inc?

What about it, Brian Sikora?

No comments: