The National Federation of Community Broadcasters is speaking out about the fate of one of America’s richest, and endangered, audio archives.
NFCB, which represents community radio stations from coast to coast, is addressing the matter of the Pacifica Radio Archives, a collection featuring critical moments in American history, including the Free Speech Movement, desegregation struggles and the arts. The Archives, which lost former director Brian DeShazor amid cuts, faces an uncertain future.
NFCB Chief Executive Officer Sally Kane wrote a letter to Pacifica’s board, calling for the Pacifica Radio Archives to be released to an educational institution. Her letter reads, in part:
On Aug. 17, Dr. Josh Shepperd, director of the Library of Congress’s Radio Preservation Task Force, wrote publicly about the peril this precious collection faces… The Pacifica Radio Archives contains the largest collection of U.S. movement history. From Civil Rights to protest music, early modern feminism to environmentalism, the Pacifica Radio Archives holds thousands of hours of recordings illuminating our past and present. Moreover, the Pacifica Radio Archives offer a unique and rare snapshot of our collective pain, and our triumph, in a nation that rises to leave behind its darkest past to elect its first African-American president. Such historic magnitude cannot be left to chance, but to intention and action.
You can read the full letter in PDF here.
In addition to offering its support for the transition of the Pacifica Radio Archives, NFCB is encouraging all member stations to express their support for preserving and protecting the archive for the public to the Pacifica National Board. The board can be reached via email at email@example.com.
NFCB, the oldest organization for community radio, represents and provides services to almost 200 community radio stations. NFCB member stations include rural to urban organizations, as well as those affiliated with the Latino Public Radio Consortium. NFCB was recently profiled among organizations bringing diversity to public media.