Tags Lemlem Rijio
Tag: Lemlem Rijio
The job of the media is to hold the powerful accountable. To avoid hypocrisy, the media itself must be held accountable as well. In the past few days, KPFA has broadcast at least twice a brief announcement recorded by the interim general manager scolding Bay View associate editor JR Valrey for a passing mention in one of his Block Reports of KPFA’s former interim program manager, Sasha Lilley. The Bay View respectfully questions its timing and refutes its contentions.
KPFA has been actively trying to restrain Flashpoints’ success for years now, but most of all during Rijio’s tenure as general manager. We take on the stories that make the establishment nervous, whether it’s police beatings and injustice inside the station – Nadra Foster – or outside the station. We report from the ground, whether it’s from Haiti or the West Bank or at the frontlines of the Native American struggle. Our Palestine coverage in particular has garnered intense scrutiny, to use a euphemism, from the pro-Zionist crowd.
We, the undersigned paid and unpaid KPFA staff, do not have confidence in the management of KPFA's Interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio. Rijio's actions during the past two years have caused the alienation of a large number of staff members, have created turmoil within the station and have resulted in her losing credibility with many staff members. Her shift of KPFA's culture away from one of collaboration and mutual support helped create the climate leading to the tragic and unnecessary police arrest of unpaid staff member Nadra Foster.
At 4 p.m. on her very last day of employment as the executive director of the Pacifica Foundation, Nicole Sawaya permanently appointed Lemlem Rijio as the general manager at KPFA-FM, a position Rijio has been occupying on an interim basis for two years. Rijio has been under fire as of late, with Berkeley police violently arresting a station programmer who had allegedly been banned in a dispute over copier usage. Seventy-four of 215 station staffers have signed a statement of no-confidence in her leadership.
As a member of first the advisory board and later the governing Local Station Board at KPFA through 2006, I witnessed events that I believe gave rise to what the writers of yesterday's Berkeley Daily Planet commentary call a threat of "civil war," and I contribute these words to the struggle for a just peace. KPFA managers are apparently oblivious to the everyday police war on Black people that I believe KPFA is obligated by its mission to cover.
On Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008, between 1 and 2 p.m., Nadra Foster, a young Black woman programmer and single mother, was beaten to the ground by the Berkeley police, arrested, hog-tied and taken to jail, after the management of KPFA radio and the Pacifica Foundation had called the police on her, falsely accusing her of being "banned" from the station.