Why we publish Co-op Radio Matters
Why we formed
"the Democracy Movement in
Vancouver Co-operative Radio"
by Korky Day. 2011 April 4 to 11, slightly revised 2012 Oct. 18.
I have been active in Co-op Radio off and on since almost the beginning of our broadcasting in 1975. Over the years, I have seen big declines in volunteering; in democratic process; in size and comfort of our premises; and in harmony among the members and public. What's good is that most of what we broadcast is as good as ever, or better, and that we're surviving financially.
However, the media in general are getting more and more competitive. Therefore, we now must aim to improve our content considerably, just to survive.
Why haven't we improved more in all respects? I think the main reason is that we have not kept to the co-operative ideals, especially the ideals of openness and democracy.
A minority clique with a certain mind-set has come to prevail. Though well-meaning, they prevent healing from conflicts and instead create new conflicts.
Why does the majority let them rule? The answer is the usual reasons that people don't vote or get politically active in any group or country: misunderstanding, complacency, apathy, and fear.
Some fear retaliation if they "rock the boat". They want to support us openly in this Democracy Movement (DM-VCR), but are afraid that they might have their programmes cancelled, shortened, or moved to a less desirable time, or that others will scorn them, or worse.
So I am sticking my neck out, partly because now I am not a huge contributor to any programme lately, so I have less to fear from those in power.
Who's with me in the Democracy Movement (DM-VCR)? I have invited others to publish their names, but so far no one wants to do that, so I am respecting their desire for anonymity.
I invite you to put comments on our discussion page, whether you support our caucus or not.
Are we in the Democracy Movement setting up and encouraging conflict? No, we didn't start it, but instead we are defencive. Those in the ruling group, instead of resolving minor disputes, often have chosen to exacerbate them.
Ordinary conflicts have expanded into programmes being cancelled or shortened; people leaving; harmful, rash, and biased decisions; major decisions made with too little consultation with the members; people feeling bitter and pessimistic; etc.
Of course, there generally is fault on both sides, but good leaders resolve conflicts as much as possible and don't pull out the "big guns" pre-maturely.
The ruling clique, which includes some of our elected board of directors and others, is "holed up in their bunker" (so to speak) with an unnecessary, counter-productive, overly defencive attitude.
They are decent people, but have let themselves get manipulated and panicked into a "siege mentality". They think that they are the saviours of Co-op Radio against the invading hordes (like me) who they think would destroy or degrade the co-op if we get a taste of power.
Unfortunately, the more they keep and spread those attitudes, the less friendly the station gets and the fewer people volunteer.
Then those who remain have fewer hands to share the work. Everyone then feels over-worked, naturally, because we are. Some blame one faction or another. Most are too pessimistic about creating harmony.
Our caucus strategy, then, is not to rally the reluctant hordes and defeat the ruling minority, if we can possibly avoid that. Instead, we think it's possible, and much better, to reconcile all sides.
This Web publication (Co-op Radio Matters) is a major step in that direction. Any good organisation must have good communication among its members.
The ruling group at Co-op Radio has a tight hold on almost all of the official avenues of communication. That includes our co-op's official Web publication, www.coopradio.org . They also keep us from contacting most of the members, though that might violate the law and certainly does violate the principles of the co-operative movement.
Given those road-blocks and others, this unofficial Web publication seems our best option. So please help us spread the word that we exist. Please read these pages, join our co-op, join our caucus, get active, and give money to Co-op Radio. (Our caucus doesn't need any money.)
And try to re-assure the ruling group that almost all Co-op Radio members, including this reform caucus, want Co-op Radio to unify, expand, and prosper.
The world needs Co-op Radio more than ever. We must reach out to them all, not just to those in the local area who were our first audience.
That's a big goal and to accomplish it, we in Co-op Radio must recruit 2 or 3 times as many volunteers and more funds. Our caucus is working for that.
Please comment on the discussion page (page 4) and/or e-write to
korkyday (at sign) yahoo (dot) com .
End of page.