KPFA News Criticized

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Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on February 11 2011

KPFA Radio, has received complaints from 3 Berkeley City Council members and 6 workers on two different incidents of problematic coverage in a week on the daily hour-long statewide broadcast of the Pacifica Evening News.

The first complaint was from by Berkeley City Council members Linda Maio, Kriss Worthington and Laurie Capitelli on a story on a council resolution asking all parties involved in the station’s contentious November layoff of 2 employees to negotiate in good faith with each other.

Councilmember Linda Maio asked for an on-air correction on February 10th: (excerpted)

Below is a transcript of Aileen Alfandary’s characterization of the Council’s vote and, by extension, the Council’s sentiments…. The Council, in its vote, did not take sides. My vote was not “prompted” by the layoffs. Kriss’s wasn’t, Laurie’s wasn’t. Kriss, you will recall, wanted to add more specific language that we were neutral. We thought that went without saying but I can see now it was well advised. I will do what I can, through messages to my own friend and constituent lists, to correctly convey my own position.

Councilmember Laurie Capitelli added on February 11th: (excerpted)

I strongly concur with Linda’s concerns. The council vote was a message to all sides in the dispute to move forward with mediation hopefully starting with fresh eyes and a true desire to get past the events of the last several months.

A second complaint was filed on February 10th by six workers about a news feature  on an FPPC volation by one of the station’s unpaid staff members. The “open letter” stated: (excerpted) Airing a personal attack to bolster a station turf war is unacceptable. There are too many authentic and important news stories stories waiting to be told.

Media Alliance is not aware of any direct response to either complaint from the KPFA news department.

MA’s director sat on the KPFA and Pacifica Foundation board of directors at the time of this report. 

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