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For years, KPBS-FM and TV, the public broadcasting arms of San Diego State University, have been extremely deferential in handling interviews with city officials; the university is dependent on the ­City’s goodwill for getting an array of planning and development approvals. It also relies on hefty contributions from corporations with close ties to the city hall establishment. Other media outlets, including the Union-Tribune and local web news sites, whose reporters and editors regularly appear on KPBS, have ignored the lapses. But the advent of the internet now allows listeners to air their complaints on the ­stations’ website, the most cogent case in point being last ­week’s interview with San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders.

“It is a pity there were no editors or political reporters interviewing Mayor Jerry Sanders this morning instead of the pleasant and mellifluous-voiced Maureen Cavanaugh, who gave away half-an-hour of air time without a single hard question to a politician,” wrote a commenter named Frankie. “This is not public service ­broadcasting.”

Added Frankie: “Sanders was allowed to promote four huge trophy building projects he and his backers support — a Chargers stadium, a Central Library, a new City Administration Complex, another Convention Center expansion — without a single query about the financing or other possible uses for the money these projects will suck up. He was unchallenged in supporting a permanent change in the City Charter establishing San ­Diego’s ‘Strong ­Mayor’ — a drastic measure on our June 8 ballots which is opposed by both the respected League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club.…

“One week after your fund-raising campaign, I would hope ­you’d be figuring out how to do more with less. That would include not giving free-passes to politicians who are supposed to be held accountable by the media so that the listening public can be better informed.”

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HonestGovernment May 19, 2010 @ 7:32 p.m.

Thanks Matt. This has been going on for so long...Gloria Penner, with the help of Voice of San Diego's Republican-donor-rich board and their sycophant journalists, presented Jerry Sanders as the unquestioned successor to the Republican throne, back when they liked him. Now, if you follow the Twits of Scott and Andrew, they like him not so much. Who do they have lined up as the next successor? The people have The Reader. The Republican establishment have the Voice.


CuddleFish May 19, 2010 @ 8 p.m.

Gloria Penner may just be a vestige of old style talk show journalism. I can't ever remember her asking a really hard question of her "guests."

VoSD may or may not have a Republican-donor-rich board, but their journalists are first rate and fair-minded, IMHO. No one beats them in terms of covering the school board and education politics, they and CityBeat do an excellent job covering my community's issues.

I can't remember the last time I read a good story in the Reader that focused on any issues to do with Southeastern San Diego. VoSD does one nearly every day. CityBeat did a kicka$$ issue last week or week before on the Arizona situation. Nothing in the Reader has touched on that story, except for here and there.


Visduh May 23, 2010 @ 11:03 a.m.

Maybe KPBS-FM could make itself really useful by going all classical, just as KUSC (LA) does classics round-the-clock. The county hasn't had a decent classical station since KFSD-FM (94.1) was sold back in the 90's. The offerings on KPBS are a mish-mash of things that I suppose have their little interest groups, but the station has never really pulled it together.

If the station went all-classics, it might be surprised at its popularity, and it would remove all the bickering about local and national politics from the mix. Wouldn't that be pleasant? (Or will someone decide that Beethoven is Republican and Mozart a Democrat composer?)


CuddleFish May 23, 2010 @ 11:18 a.m.

Now that would be an interesting story!

Yes, it would be good to have an all-classics radio station again.


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