By a longtime KPFA staff and volunteer:
An All-Volunteer KPFA: A Recipe for Disaster
On Tuesday, October 26th, 2010, on the KPFA Morning Show, Arlene Engelhardt, Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation, made the curious comment that (to paraphrase) KPFA needed to get back to its volunteer roots. The wording was vague enough to suggest pretty much anything, but there are some folks out there who believe eliminating the on-air paid staff, and their off-air support staff as well, could be right way to go.
After all, bringing back volunteerism and ending the tyranny of staffers who stay forever sounds like a pretty good prescription for renewal. Nice philosophy, but is that what Arlene is really saying?
First, let’s look at the history of KPFA. . . . .
Editorial from me: I have to say I think he exaggerates some about the unreliability of volunteers. I think there must be a balance between strip programming paid professionals and volunteers from the communities speaking in their own voices on the air. And there are always a few golden souls who volunteer behind the scenes, retired or unemployed or students, but students don’t last long. But firing good successful workers is corrupt, I think.
But/and the Morning Mix has been replaced by some extremely popular programming.