I have followed with interest your coverage of the URTV “controversy.” You raise important questions of conduct, accountability and transparency. I must say, though, one could easily get the mistaken impression, from what I have read in the Xpress, that URTV is a highly flawed, dysfunctional operation that’s staining our community.
As a fairly new but very busy URTV producer, I have remained largely detached from these contentious issues. It’s not that they don’t strike me as worthy topics for community debate, but rather that they have not in any way intruded on my own (admittedly selfish and tightly focused) needs as a commentator in search of a stump. That is, on a personal and operational level, I have found the services there to be first rate and well-suited as a ready forum for my own productions, such as Our Human Race. In fact, I would say in this regard that the actual results of the station’s management’s style and methods might be a relevant part of an accurate portrayal of the state of what is certainly one of our most vital local outlets for free expression.
These comments are not intended as a “blank check” endorsement of URTV’s management. On that score, I say, “Have at it, the facts will out!” (As I recently contended in one of my shows, controversy is always the result of a less-than-full understanding of the facts.) …
What I am intending to convey is that URTV is a well-run and vital community resource that needs to be nurtured and supported, as well as brought to task, if and when it strays. I don’t pretend to be aware of your full editorial output, but I don’t recall seeing a story extolling management’s successes at cultivating, under difficult circumstances, a truly remarkable quantity of socially relevant statements that have enriched our shared community. (Not as sexy as management malfeasance, I concede, but still an important, related aspect of the issues at hand.) Or the difficulties of surviving while being under-funded by unreliable and sometimes reluctant sources.
Please consider also: There is no guarantee this organization will even be here next year, thus making all this wrangling moot. My sense is that our URTV is in a fight for its life, and in that context, I would like to offer my enthusiastic support for this unique, creative, efficient and most worthy local institution.
— Bruce Kennedy