PACIFICA & AFFILIATES RADIO NETWORK Fiscal Year 2003-2004 : “PACE Report”
The “PACE” proposal for rebuildig the Pacifica Affiliates program was a result of work done by the interim Pacifica National Board Affiliates Committee, who spoke extensively with current and former affiliates. On September 20, 2003 it was brought before the interim Pacifica National Board for approval with this motion by Teresa Allen, seconded by Carol Spooner: Resolved that: the iPNB endorses the direction outlined in the “PACE” report of 9/19/03, and encourages further refinement through discussion in the Affiliates Committee and with the national staff. It passed unanimously.
The Pacifica & Affiliates Communications Exchange (PACE) is a network for developing, producing, and broadcasting meaningful and influential progressive content to worldwide radio, internet, (and possible other forms of) audiences. The Pacifica Foundation and its affiliated stations*, – which contribute programming as well as bring Pacifica Radio’s programs to wider audiences – distribute the content. PACE is intended as a mutually supportive resource; serving its members as a communication hub, a learning community dedicated to improving both content and delivery efficacy, and as an expanding vessel for progressive programs. Listeners of programming distributed by the PACE network are joined in a larger community by interactivity with community media that is responsive to their needs and interests and access to otherwise unavailable news, arts, and commentary.
*The network of radio stations within PACE includes some associate stations. For the purpose of simplicity, it should be assumed that these associate stations are included in the network, with the Pacifica sister stations and affiliated stations.
PACE is an expanding network dedicated to the delivery of progressive radio content via satellite and/or through the Internet, as well as other technologies when deemed appropriate. Its mission is to provide and distribute content that is produced throughout this network (and by some independent producers), through the Pacifica Foundation’s affiliated radio stations and the Pacifica sister stations, as well as to support and provide distribution opportunities to producers of progressive radio programs.
History. PACE has its historical roots in the relationship between Pacifica and the progressive community radio movement – which it helped inspire. Stations in this movement have been interconnected with Pacifica by broadcasting Pacifica programming, maintaining professional alliances, carrying out political actions on behalf of the Pacifica mission, and sharing the goal of community radio.
In 2003, a committee of people representing both the Pacifica Foundation and various affiliate stations was designated by the interim Pacifica National Board to reconstruct the Pacifica affiliates program. This committee’s findings resulted in the development of PACE, which emphasizes collaboration and interactivity between Pacifica management, the sister stations, and the affiliate stations by establishing shared programming, a review board, an affiliates committee, and administrative and technical liaison services, as well as other venues for dialogue. PACE is seen as a step towards actualizing the potential of our shared history and purpose.
Environment. The Pacifica Foundation celebrates and welcomes the independent and unique characteristics of community radio stations. PACE is organized to meet stations’ service needs as they are identified in loosely grouped categories. The Pacifica Foundation also acknowledges and respects the differing missions and varying organizational structures of all its present-day affiliated stations and recognizes that many of its affiliates do not share its own expressed mission and purpose.
Recognizing that it must compete with other distribution systems, PACE seeks to excel in serving its affiliates and be a synergistic vessel for progressive programming that is unavailable elsewhere. It also provides a unique level of interactivity responsive to the needs and interests of community broadcasters and responds to threats and opportunities in media regulation and political climates.
Furthermore, PACE recognizes the range of social, political, and economic inequalities inherent in its environment; thus in determining PACE programming content, serious efforts is made to seek diversity and inclusion of communities discriminated against for their race, nationality, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or any other victims of prejudice.
Technology. PACE seeks to be forward-looking, adapting to changing forms of radio, Internet broadcasting, and other technologies, in order to remain a viable and competitive service.
Currently, the Pacifica Foundation owns the satellite operating system (KU Band) and Internet servers. There are two satellite uplinks (in Berkeley, California and Washington DC), an MP3 live streaming server, and an MP3 warehouse server (location to be announced). Both Internet components are FM-quality audio 128 Kbps (kilobits per second) MP3s.
Services to Affiliates and Sister Stations
The Pacifica Foundation provides the following resources and services to its affiliates through an affiliates coordinator, a technical support person(s), and upgrading of technologies (staff descriptions are given below).
Content Delivery. PACE allows maximum technological flexibility for receiving content.
Stations can receive via satellite or the Internet, or both, depending on which technologies they use. A start-up incentive program is offered by Pacifica to some prospective affiliate stations that need Internet cable access or KU equipment – providing these technologies for the stations during their first year of affiliation.
Upgrading of the PACE distribution technologies and services will be planned, beginning with a survey of stations’ technological profiles and the overall technological profile how PACE programming is received.
Technical Planning and Assistance. The changing technological needs of the individual member stations, as well as the methods for distribution of PACE, are seen by Pacifica as a paramount concern for the success of the overall distribution program. Distribution and production technologies will be reviewed and planned through on-going collaboration (including “tech retreats”) between PACE operators, Pacifica National web team, and Operations and Web staff at Pacifica stations and affiliated stations. To help stations that request technological assistance, the Pacifica Foundation will facilitate and help sponsor “tech teams” – which will be put together as cooperative efforts between the Pacifica Foundation, the Pacifica sister stations, and affiliated stations – drawing on their resources and staff with expertise. These “tech teams will go, when possible, to stations and provide them with operational help and production training.
Broadcasting and Distribution Services:
Shared Production. The combination of satellite and Internet distribution allows space for a large variety of radio producers to distribute their programs through PACE. Contributors to content include Pacifica National’s program initiatives, producers from Pacifica stations, producers from affiliated radio stations, independent radio producers, and producers from other progressive media sources. Some programs are produced collaboratively between producers from different radio stations or with Pacifica National. Content distributed by PACE includes news, public affairs, documentaries, music, drama, and other cultural programs.
Production Support. PACE keeps a roster of producers who may be possible trainers and helps stations locate them when needed. When possible, the Pacifica Foundation helps stations that can’t send staff to conferences and request assistance with building local production capacity by helping to facilitate production workshops given by various producers from throughout the PACE network.
Pacifica also assists with the organization of “Sprouts,” a weekly magazine of local stories from affiliated stations. A central component of “Sprouts” is collaboration between producers at various community radio stations and training of new producers. The affiliates coordinator introduces new stations to “Sprouts” production and hosts a monthly conference call which acts as a discussion forum about the production of “Sprouts” between experienced and novice producers, and continues to work with producers at affiliate stations to find viable forms for continuing this enterprise.
Broadcast / Distribution: Below is an outline of services currently available for reception and distribution of radio programs:
KU Satellite: Requires KU receiving equipment. Has a set schedule (re-feeds scheduled and can be requested). Includes daily, weekly, and special programs. On-line schedule is available and schedules can be mailed upon request.
MP3 Program Warehouse. Requires high speed Internet access. Programs can be down loaded at any time. Includes daily, weekly, and special programs. On-line search engine based on program topic, time span, geography, and other criteria.
Internet Streaming Access (streamed in real time). Includes designated regular and special programs.
KU Satellite: Programs must be scheduled. Limited space. PACE operations staff up-links. Designated times reserved for affiliate stations and WBAI, WPFW, KPFA, KPFK, and KPFT
MP3 Warehouse: Unlimited space. Producers upload their own programs.
Programs submitted for distribution by PACE must meet certain content and sound-quality criteria.
PACE management staff makes the KU schedule in cooperation with a review board of interested parties (for a description of the review board see Affiliate and Sister Station Participation). Producers distributing via the MP3 Warehouse upload their own programs with no restrictions other those stated above. Together with representatives from Pacifica stations and affiliate stations (as outlined below), PACE staff review the KU schedule and the contents of the MP3 warehouse once a year.
Pacifica and affiliated stations have access to the Pacifica Archive Collection at a discounted rate.
Submissions from producers from Pacifica and affiliated stations are archived upon request if they meet Pacifica Radio Archive criteria.
All programs uploaded in the MP3 Warehouse are automatically archived on the Pacifica server, subject to yearly review.
Web Support Services for Radio Producers and Program Directors
The PACE section of Pacifica.org includes a comprehensive support component for radio producers, including: guidelines pertaining to PACE (such as how to apply for KU time, registration for distribution on the MP3 Warehouse, content consistency with the mission, time formats, sound quality, ID’s, uploading conventions, etc.); instructions for uploading and up-linking programs; program resource guides and information exchange boards; links to other networks and radio stations, and other resources suggested.
An “electronic workroom” for storing sound files while in production is available to producers at Pacifica and affiliated programs, particularly when producers live in different geographic areas.
Marketing Support. Mailing labels will be sent to producers registering a program for distribution, addressed to program directors at Pacifica and affiliated stations in the form of FTP files, CDs, or on paper, to help producers promote their programs. Vinyl banners from printmoz.com will be sent out as samples for those interested to try it out. Physical marketing is not dead yet and can still be very effective in the right event.
Catalogues on pacifica.org for the MP3 Warehouse are automatically generated when producers upload their programs – including links to text, contact information, audio samples, promos, graphics, and other promotional material (provided and arranged by the producers).
The on-line KU schedule is automatically adjusted when producers register programs for the KU schedules – including links to text, contact information, audio samples, promos, graphics, and other promotional materials (provided and arranged by the producers).
Broadcast Support / Communications. Automatically generated weekly email updates from pacifica.org notify Pacifica stations and affiliated stations about new programs on the KU and in the MP3 Warehouse – including the promotional links described above. PACE email notification of available content will provide a rating system of sound quality – and content description when possible.
General Administrative Services
Service Contract. The Pacifica Foundations provides annual contracts with sliding fees that are negotiated individually with stations. Payment schedules are set to accommodate stations’ own funding circumstances.
Affiliate Liaison Services. The Pacifica Foundation employs an affiliates’ coordinator to provide liaison services between affiliated stations, the Pacifica Foundation, producers, and others, including issues of daily operations and information gathering for affiliate stations as well Pacifica staff and Board of Directors. A complete job description for the Affiliates Coordinator is given below.
An online or hardcopy kit for stations wishing to affiliate is available, (including fee schedule, contract, information about reception and distribution of programs, etc.) Affiliates Coordinator will assist stations wishing to initiate affiliation.
An online or hardcopy kit for introducing Pacifica to radio stations is available.
Email groups are provided, as needed, for improved for communication.
PACE staff schedule and notify affiliates and sister stations about special Pacifica programs and also alert them as soon as possible about unscheduled “emergency” specials.
The PACE coordinator alerts stations if programming has controversial content (such as obscenities) or other extraordinary circumstances.
An online or hardcopy resource and information exchange is provided for stations.
Affiliate feedback. The PACE affiliates coordinator solicits feedback and input from affiliated stations and Pacifica sister stations on regular KU scheduling and on planned specials produced by Pacifica (either to find out what specials are desired or to arrange collaboration with Pacifica on specials.)
Technical Assistance. The Pacifica Foundation provides technical and operational support staff that up-links programs on the KU Band, including reception of CDs, dats, MP3 files, etc, re-feeds when necessary, etc. (A complete job description for the technical support person is given below).
Technical support staff is provided for down linking KU programs and troubleshooting; providing a full-time emergency support phone line for operational problems.
PACE staff notifies broadcasters of the sound quality of uploaded content in the MP3 program warehouse and gives content descriptions when possible.
PACE technical support staff monitors for successful KU uplink, and notifies receiving stations about impairments, and of alternatives for receiving programs such as re-feeds or Internet.
PACE technical support staff assists newly affiliating stations while they choose and/or install technologies as needed, resulting in individualized program-receiving packages.
Affiliate and Sister Station Participation
PACE is seen as a vehicle for furthering the cause of community radio and uncensored progressive media by strengthening the programming efforts at all stations involved by furthering collaboration and coalition between progressive radio producers, by encouraging free-media movements, and by adding another voice of advocacy for free-speech rights in an ever more repressive media environment.
PACE adheres to the mission of the Pacifica Radio Foundation, which is defined in its articles of incorporation as: “to contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to promote and aid activities which will serve the cultural welfare of the community, and to promote the full distribution of public information; to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium; and to employ such varied sources in the public presentation of accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community.
Stations who share Pacifica Radio’s mission and purpose may help review the management and program content of PACE, along with the Pacifica sister stations, and participate in setting its strategic direction. To qualify for participation in reviewing PACE, affiliated stations must demonstrate a shared mission with Pacifica by joining a registered affiliates’ association with a stated mission compatible with the Pacifica mission.
PACE is reviewed once a year to evaluate its programming on the KU Satellite and in the MP3 Warehouse, and the general administrative and technical management. There is a four-part process:
1) A survey is sent (or called in by telephone) to all affiliate and Pacifica stations for evaluating PACE.
2) A Review board meets to evaluate PACE. The review board is comprised of: the PACE management staff, Pacifica National Program Staff, three representatives for the five Pacifica sister stations, a member of the affiliates committee of the Pacifica National Board, a PNB member nominated by affiliate stations, and a representative from any affiliate associations, as described in the bylaws below.
3) The PACE staff implements findings of the review board as fully as possible in accordance to PACE’s and Pacifica’s institutional needs.
4) A report of the review board’s findings, along with a strategic plan and implementation plan is submitted to the Pacifica Executive Director and to the PNB affiliates committee by the affiliates coordinator including a technical plan provided b the technical services person.
PACE recognizes and respects that not all of its affiliated stations share the Pacifica’ mission and purpose and may not wish to participate in the planning and management of PACE.
Pacifica National Board
Affiliate stations are represented on the PNB, as specified in the Pacifica bylaws, below.
PNB members representing affiliates will serve as liaisons between the PNB and the PACE to assist the PACE management staff when needed. The Pacifica National Board also has an ongoing working affiliates’ committee. The PNB bylaws are as follows:
SECTION 4. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF AFFILIATE REPRESENTATIVE DIRECTORS
A. NOMINATION: Any Foundation “affiliate station” (as defined below) or any association of affiliate stations may nominate one or more candidates for the two Affiliate Director positions on the Board. Nominations shall close on February 15th each year and shall be submitted in writing to the Foundation Secretary. Every affiliate station or association of affiliate stations submitting nominee(s) shall include with said nomination(s) a written explanation of its procedure for selecting the nominee(s). Said statement shall be certified by the station general manager or the governing board secretary of each affiliate station nominating said candidate(s) or by the secretary of the association of affiliate stations, as appropriate. In addition, each nominee shall submit his/her resume and a statement of his/her interest in serving as a Director of the Foundation. The Foundation Secretary shall forward to all Foundation Directors all materials submitted supporting each nominee not later than March 1st.
For purposes of this Section, an “affiliate station” shall be defined as any non-profit non-commercial broadcaster that broadcasts programming provided or distributed by the Foundation pursuant to a written agreement with the Foundation, including, for example, community radio stations, internet broadcasters or digital broadcasters, as such technology may be developed. An affiliate station shall not be a radio station whose broadcast license is held by the Foundation. For purposes of this Section, an “association of affiliate stations” shall be defined as any group of affiliate stations that have joined together to form an association, provided that said association has adopted bylaws and its membership is limited solely of affiliate stations.
B. ELECTION: As the first order of business at the Board meeting in March each year, the
Directors present and voting (excluding any then current Affiliate or At-Large Directors from the vote) shall elect two (2) Affiliate Representative Directors from the nominees submitted by affiliate stations and/or affiliate station associations, using the Single Transferable Voting method. Affiliate Directors shall serve for a one-year term, which shall commence immediately upon their election.
PACE will contribute to media rights advocacy efforts in the national and international arena by:
Joining and working in cooperation with existing media rights groups.
Having a presence and offering workshops at media rights conferences.
Encouraging PACE listeners to mobilize free-media movements.
Offering special radio programming on media rights issues
Employing a media-rights advocate or assigning certain advocacy tasks to the affiliate coordinator
Pacifica Affiliates Coordinator:
Promotion and Marketing:
Developing marketing strategies and promotional materials (print and web) to retain and increase membership.
Marketing research and sales to potential new affiliates and providing assistance to help them become Pacifica affiliates.
Securing and storing contracts with affiliated stations. Updating agreements and renegotiating them on a yearly basis.
Assisting listeners groups to introduce Pacifica affiliation to their local radio stations.
Implementing Internet assistance program or KU loan program.
Promoting Pacifica Radio specials and programs that are being distributed.
Developing and updating affiliates section of pacifica.org website.
Representing the Affiliates Program at conferences and other public or private meetings and giving presentations on behalf of Pacifica.
Seeking grants and funding sources for special incentive projects such as the Internet assistance or KU loan projects.
Development and Maintenance of Program Content:
Conducting initial program-use survey, reviewing and updating KU schedule.
Helping to plan and schedule Pacifica Foundation Specials with Pacifica producers and Ku operators, soliciting input from affiliates and requests for Pacifica Foundation program specials.
Helping to initiate and facilitate collaborative production projects between the Pacifica Foundation and affiliates.
Participating in the yearly review of the KU schedule and affiliates program.
Assisting in Sprouts effort; hosting monthly conference calls, assisting with coordination and promotion.
Managing the administration of MP3 Warehouse and any special projects of the MP3 warehouse.
Administration and Liaison Services:
Maintaining contact with affiliate stations and producers concerning day-to-day needs and problems, including monitoring the upkeep of program schedules and insuring notificatio n to affiliate stations about changes and specials.
Notification to affiliates if programming has controversial content (such as obscenities) or other extraordinary circumstances such as embedded information not applicable to their stations (such as fund-raising, advertised special events, etc).
Coordinating between KU operator, webmasters at pacifica.org, and producers of Pacifica National special programs.
Serving as a liaison between the PNB, Pacifica Management, Pacifica Sister Stations, and affiliates. Providing information and reports to the PNB and Executive Director, including yearly reviews and strategic plans for the program.
Working with and reporting to the affiliates committee for strategic planning.
Working with Democracy Now!, FSRN, and other producers, assisting them and cooperating on outreach efforts.
Setting up administrative procedures for this new program and providing yearly reports, strategic plans, budgets, and implementation plans to the Pacifica Executive Director.
Securing and storing agreements and from contributing producers, assisting those producers when necessary.
Developing and maintaining rosters of producers, possible trainers, information about individual stations, and other relevant information or databases.
Doing outreach to affiliate stations for nominations to the PNB and administration of those nominations.
Serving as a liaison with media rights organizations and helping to develop media advocacy efforts of the Pacifica Foundation.
Technical Services Staffing:
The Pacifica Foundation will provide a director of KU operations and other operational staff to achieve the following goals. Staffing will be increased as necessary to remedy inconsistencies in services as they occur.
Receiving feeds and up-linking programs on KU band, including reception of CDs, dats, MP3 files, etc, asking for re-feeds when necessary, etc.
Setting up and maintaining computer programs for KU uplinks etc.
Monitoring for successful KU uplink, notifying receiving stations about impairments, and notifying stations about alternatives for receiving programs (re-feeds or Internet. Etc.)
Providing technical support to stations on an on-call basis with an emergency phone line.
Working with producers of special programs on the KU satellite to arrange successful uplinks and contingency plans.
Assisting new stations requesting help with setting up operations for receiving Pacifica programming.
Assisting with the KU loan project when that program is possible.
Maintenance and Repairs:
Maintaining hardware and equipment.
Evaluating technical upgrading needs for the KU operation and submitting proposals for new technologies and needed repairs.
Information and Planning:
Surveying affiliated stations for technological profiles and maintaining technological profiles of the stations and of the entire PACE network; submitting a yearly technological report to Pacifica National Director and the affiliates coordinator.
Communicating with operations staff at radio stations to plan new technologies; in particular, organizing a technology retreat in the fall of 2003 to plan present and future procedures and technologies to make PACE a viable and competitive broadcast service, and participate in planning “tech teams” for helping to upgrade stations requesting assistance.
Participating in the yearly review board of PACE:
Working in concert with Pacifica Radio’s national programming staff to provide dependable up linking for specials on the KU band as well as contingency plans and provide on-call staff for assisting stations during specials.
Participating, together with the affiliates coordinator and other national program staff in planning Pacifica national special programming.