Where’s the democracy now?

The Friday night show 7 Layer Dip on WPVM was recently and abruptly canceled. I am saddened to hear this, as it was—along with Democracy Now—my favorite show on WPVM. It is my understanding it was canceled due to inappropriate content and a lack of enthusiasm during the current fundraising effort. It is also my understanding that Wally Bowen, the founder of Mountain Area Information Network, canceled this program unilaterally.

I enjoyed the saucy content of 7 Layer Dip and feel that Friday night is a good time to broadcast a show like this. I listened to the show in question and it did not put me off donating money to MAIN. (As of Tuesday, the show was still on the WPVM archives.) In fact, shows with spicy individual flavor are one of the reasons that I want to give money to the important work that MAIN is doing. Two of the objectives in the MAIN mission statement are “citizen access to media” and “local cultural and artistic expression.” 7 Layer Dip fits both these objectives.

Putting aside content, the procedure by which 7 Layer Dip was removed was not democratic—another one of the core values of MAIN. The station manager has resigned, and several other programs have protested this decision by refusing to air or airing with no commentary between songs. 7 Layer Dip should go back on the air, and WPVM should implement a clear, objective, multiperson process to remove shows from the air in the future. Put the democracy back in our democratic media-reform organization. I know the vital importance of MAIN’s mission, but I will hold the $100 dollars I was planning to donate to the current campaign until I can feel comfortable that MAIN will practice what it preaches.

— Kama Ward

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