Art by Phoebe Hughes

EDITORIAL: We stand with KHSU

There is no excuse for the HSU administration to gut KHSU
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There is no excuse for the HSU administration to gut KHSU

We at the Lumberjack newspaper stand behind KHSU. We stand behind the staff members and all the volunteers. We do not stand with HSU administration, Lisa Rossbacher, Craig Wruck or Peter Fretwell in their decision to dismantle our beloved local community radio station.

There is no excuse they can give that will ever justify how they decided to gut an entire radio station. Lisa Rossbacher was given the audit report a couple days before the firing of all but two paid staff members at KHSU.

If this was not a premeditated decision, then we would like some explanation as to how a decision as destructive and community-shattering as this one could be made in just 48 hours.

To make matters even shadier, a week before this decision KHSU was having their annual spring pledge drive. Where does all the money go?

Major underwriters and community members have stopped their monthly donations and are no longer supporting whatever KHSU will become. This shows HSU’s lack of respect for transparency and community relationships. What does this mean for us at the Lumberjack as journalists? Are we next to go?

KHSU has been here for over 50 years with a slogan of “diverse public radio.” It appears HSU would like to keep the radio waves less diverse and fill it with non-local syndicated programs.

Since the beginning KHSU has been talking about major issues like student housing shortages (still a problem today) and soothing the towns of Humboldt with jazz and folk music.

Volunteers have always been a part of KHSU, building a bridge between the school and the community. By 2010 over 80 volunteers accounted for over 68 hours of day-to-day programming as well as over 63 hours of music production.

There was a connection between the community and KHSU because the community had a part in the content being produced.

Today more than ever we need more local involvement with the day-to-day occurrences of where we live. Throughout the country we are losing local media and getting our news and music replaced with syndicated programs that are no longer sourced in our towns.

In Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s book “Manufacturing Consent” they criticize the consolidation and commodification of media. Large corporations must bend over backwards for their shareholders and financial interests, which trickles down to what they publish or produce. This in turn influences what gets to the public and what gets omitted.

Local involvement means getting our news from our community, not a giant corporation intent on capitalist domination. HSU’s decision to gut KHSU can only mean they’re putting profit over people.

HSU doesn’t care what’s being broadcasted on the airwaves as long as it makes them money, but they’ve just thrown themselves into a pit of controversy. With the loss of all staff and volunteers at KHSU, we are losing a piece of what makes this school special.

As a community member at the recent KHSU protest during the Arcata plaza farmer’s market said, “we are losing a family member.”

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