Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Having once again fallen into an opportunity at a kind of professional heaven, I am asking you to help me furnish it.

Taking a share of the news director job (with Zelie Pollon) at KSFR, Santa Fe, NM’s community radio station has presented me with a multiplicity of opportunities in which, I am hoping, you will invest.   

Here’s my plan.

First, nothing about KSFR’s news programming is broken; nothing needs fixing.  Already we offer 2 hour-long news programs at 7AM and Noon, and news summaries that feature local news and BBC bulletins hourly from 6AM to 7PM.  We program 4 hours of BBC World Service news overnight and an hour of BBC News at 6PM, and Amy Goodman and Democracy Now every afternoon at 3.

To that, I propose to add energy, innovation, and lots of shoe-leather.  Zelie and I will be recruiting an at first small, but rapidly growing group of volunteers and interns who will be trained in the fine crafts of reporting, editing, writing, producing and delivering radio journalism.  It is my hope to have a well-prepared reporter with a digital recorder covering every neighborhood, every community, every police or political jurisdiction, every pueblo and tribe in our listening area.  With their help, we will bring to our listeners both the finest and the fullest coverage of our incredibly varied, diverse, accomplished region.

I guarantee that anyone who listens carefully and works hard will graduate from the Marash Kollege of Newsical Knowledge a clearer thinker, a better writer, and should this be their ambition, a more employable broadcast journalist.

But the hard truth is, only Zelie and I come cheap.  The equipment interns will need, digital recorders, a few office computers to edit and assemble their packaged reports, even the new office furniture that will help make a former cd music library into a newsroom cost money.  This is where you come in.

News is an indispensable element for a successful democracy.  News not only informs citizens, it’s constant process of creating, destroying and recreating conventional wisdom provides the basis for reasoned dialogue, for civil disputation.  News done well enables people to make their own opinions based on established facts.

“Doing” news may involve managing complex subjects and conflicting interpretations, but it is a simple process aimed at 4 simple goals, which, when I first devised them for my students at Shantou University in China, I called “The 4 C’s:”  factual Correctness, presented in Context, with Clarity, to be perfectly understood, and Communication, to be remembered.

We will also be teaching how reporters prepare, gather elements, assemble and order them, then how they edit the sound and write the script and voice it for maximum impact.

Then we turn ‘em loose, and when they come back to base, monitor and mentor them as they construct their reports.

Oh, there’s one more thing I’d like to sell you.  Once our building program is well launched, I plan to take myself back to the airwaves for an hour-long news interview show tentatively titled Dave Marash: Here and There.

The title reflect the focus of the show: 2 interview segments, one examining a story or issue local to Santa Fe or New Mexico, the other, bringing to our listeners the observations of reporters or experts who are where world or national news is being made.

53 years of experience in radio, TV and even print journalism, covering news, sports, science and the arts (what I call “the most various and least cumulative resume in broadcast news,”) will inform my interrogations of informed people who are or have recently been “at the scene of the crime.”

Your contributions will help get me some assistance in putting these shows together (We’ll start with one a week and see…) as well as underwriting a training program that could become a model, not just for digital reporting, but for local or independent news coverage.

Here’s the best news, you (and everyone else in the world) can listen to the result on’s 24 hour livestream.

Here’s how to give.  If you go to the website, repeating – – you will see in the upper right, a button soliciting contributions.  Easy instructions will follow your keystroke.

Or you can call in your contribution, locally at 505 428 1383 or there’s a toll-free number 1 866 907 5737.  Call between 9AM and 9PM ET (7A-7P MT).  And yes, there is swag, baseball caps, tote bags, stainless steel water bottles and tumblers, all proudly bearing the KSFR logo.  Ask the volunteer who answers the phone.

Feel free to mention my name or the news training project (or not).  But please call and help.

Good things will happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment