While we await the next steps on the fundraising and organizing campaign, it’s affirming to see the leading news Editorial pages have all committed to maintaining the voices we hear on KPLU. These endorsements don’t come easily, as anyone who has ever worked on a campaign knows.
But, what’s happening with the save KPLU campaign? The crucial legal and business details are getting ironed out. Sure, anyone can launch a Kickstarter funding campaign, but most of those don’t raise $7 million (or more) in funds. And even if a few of us could raise the funds, that doesn’t mean we would be allowed by the Federal Communications Commission to own a broadcast frequency in the not-for-profit spectrum.
A little backstory: This website is staffed by a couple volunteers, who jumped in at a time when there was no structure or organization. When we were allowed to talk with KPLU’s station management (after Dec. 17), it seemed clear that the best course forward would be for KPLU itself to lead the charge, rather than someone in the community declaring him/herself the leader.
However, there are federal rules, ranging from the FCC license to IRS tax laws, that might impact how and what the station could do. And all of this emerged just as many key people were leaving for the December holidays. That’s why there’s been a delay in unveiling what’s next.
Speed is important, but quality matters, too.
But, when will we know? We on the outside expect news coming soon, and when it does come, this website will be able to link to a donation page at KPLU itself.
The public outcry has focused on both sides of the format, but the Editorials below focus on the potential loss of full-time journalists in this era of shrinking newsrooms, more than on the potential loss of jazz and blues programming. The KUOW purchase proposal would eliminate all KPLU newsroom positions, as well as the weekend show, Sound Effect, without adding any new positions in the KUOW newsroom — that’s why there is a net loss. Anyone who became active on this campaign knows there also was no clear commitment to or understanding about what sort of jazz or blues programming might emerge in a sale to KUOW.
- Seattle Times: Keeping KPLU would preserve region’s media voices
- The News Tribune: KPLU sale would mean less news for the Northwest
- Everett Herald: Saving a source of local news
“The loss of KPLU’s news division would be noticeable throughout the state and the Northwest. … KPLU is a major provider of quality journalism.
“Listeners of KPLU should support the drive, but anyone interested in preserving a vital source of local journalism should help as well.” – Everett Herald