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Pacifica national news director fired after refusing censorship

November 1: Pacifica Network News executive Dan Coughlin has been "reassigned" after airing a 20 second story on last week's boycott of Pacifica national programming by affiliate stations.

Coughlin, Pacifica Network News director and Washington bureau chief, lost his job early Sunday morning. Coughlin had insisted that Pacifica network news cover the continuing crisis within Pacifica. Coughlin, who was previously producer of Pacifica's "Democracy Now," was dismissed as news director via a one-sentence e-mail from newly reappointed executive director Lynn Chadwick.

Here's a transcription of this evening's KPFA News report by Aaron Glantz: "Early in the morning, Coughlin received an email from Pacifica executive director Lynn Chadwick. The short email told him he was no longer the Network News' executive producer, he was now a consultant and he would be charged with writing a report called, 'Developing a Plan for Pacifica Network News in the Year 2001.' No reason for Coughlin's dismissal as Washington Bureau chief was given, but the reassignment was apparently sparked by a 20 second story on the Network News last Wednesday, when 16 of Pacifica's 66 affiliates staged a one day boycott of Pacifica national programming. The piece was one of just a handful of stories Pacifica Network News has broadcast on the ongoing dispute between KPFA and the parent network....For now, Pacifica reporter Mark Bevis has been named interim news director."

Chadwick had previously attempted to censor KPFA news coverage of the crisis, dating back to March 31 when Chadwick "terminated" KPFA manager Nicole Sawaya. Other Pacifica stations complied with Chadwick's censorship, including Washington station WPFW cutting a story from Pacifica news, and Los Angeles station KPFK removing an independent program which dealt with the crisis.

In Coughlin's absence, Monday's Pacifica Network News did not report on Pacifica's important weekend Houston meeting (for details, of the Houston meeting and its results, see these sources: KPFA news report 10/31/99, Houston Chronicle article and SF Chronicle article).

Pacifica Network News reporter Mark Bevis (who works on weekends for National Public Radio) is now acting Pacifica news director.

If you think Pacifica Radio should be covering the crisis within Pacifica, please call Mark Bevis, and express your opinion! The toll-free number is 1-888-770-4944 Extension 316. You can also email him at mbevis@pacifica.org.