August 31, 2001

Editorial

KPBS Public Radio/Television Ignores San Diego Minorities

It is indeed unfortunate that KPBS/Channel 15 and KPBS/FM89.5 are suffering shortages in their yearly budgets. Being over a million dollars shy of meeting your operating expenses should ring alarm bells in the heads of the managers of the KPBS system. KPBS has not been able to show, since the 1998-1999 operating year, any substantial increase in funds. Expenses somehow always seem to outstrip income.

It has been obvious for a number of years that the KPBS Public Radio system has been missing the "public" portion of their charter. There has been only one public that has mattered to the management in their programming: the white, La Jolla-type listeners and viewers. Perhaps they felt that the support of the richest segments of San Diego County would be sufficient to support them.

The Mexican, Hispanic, Latino, Black, Filipino and Asian parts of the "public" are conspicuously missing in their programming, as they are in their on-camera personnel. It appears that minorities only come to mind during the small window of time when a national day of "remembrance" occurs, such as Hispanic Heritage month when a program or two appears, albeit, a lot of mariachis and Ballet Folklorico. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that few of the businesses in minority communities donate to KPBS. Of course, the days and nights are full of programming on the "minority community" of San Diego i.e. the white, upper-class society.

It is quite clear that KPBS is not, in fact, a PUBLIC RADIO/TELEVISION BROAD-CASTING SYSTEM. It has evolved into just one more avenue of propaganda for the politically powerful and the wealthy corporate interests that control America. It therefore, should get off the dole and compete in the general market for funds and support.

Public funding should be spent on benefiting the public good. It has been obvious for a long time that the public good has been poorly served by the Public Broadcast system, a system that ignores the diverse nature of our American society.

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