Scab news replaces Democracy Now!
August 28, 2001: TO: PACIFICA NATIONAL BOARD
FROM: DEMOCRACY NOW! STAFF
RE: PACIFICA CONTRACTS WITH NON-UNION, OFFSITE
SERVICE TO REPLACE DEMOCRACY NOW! NEWS
We have just learned that Pacifica has contracted with an off-site, non-union news service to replace the first segment of Democracy Now!
This comes after National Programming Director Stephen Yasko and Executive Director Bessie Wash suspended the Democracy Now! Staff without pay˜-for broadcasting off-site. We left WBAI after two attacks -- one physical, one verbal ˆ yet management repeatedly refused to allow us to broadcast from an offsite location.
In the daily segments which began last Friday and replace
Democracy Now!'s headlines, the anchor announces that she is reporting "from the Pacifica newsroom." This is false. The news service is called Feature Story News, and is provided from a remote location.
This is the first time Pacifica has sub-contracted out an entire daily newscast. In addition, they have tried to pass it off as a Pacifica production. Feature Story News‚ clients include Fox News and Voice of America. (Voice of America is the radio propaganda arm of the U.S. government. Its broadcasts are forbidden by law to air
in the U.S.)
As we seek protection from a workplace that our union has
declared unsafe, we are appalled that Pacifica is blocking our broadcasts and that we have been suspended without pay˜-only to be replaced by a non-union „content-provider,‰ whose politics are anathema to community radio.
All we are asking is that we be able to produce and broadcast „Democracy Now!‰ from a safe and secure location until the problems at WBAI are adequately investigated and resolved, and that our suspensions are revoked and our pay re-instated.
Listeners have for years given us their trust, and their money, to produce the only independent, nationally broadcast, grassroots newsmagazine in this country. We owe them no less. We implore you to take immediate action, and restore us to every Pacifica station and affiliate.
Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!
Kris Abrams, producer of Democracy Now!
Brad Simpson, producer of Democracy Now!
Anthony Sloan, engineer of Democracy Now!