The Mission of WBAI
WBAI began as WABF in 1941 and moved to 99.5 FM in 1948. The station took a respite from broadcasting in 1953, and came back on the air as part of World Broadcast Associates, Inc (WBAI) in 1955.
The Pacifica Foundation was launched by pacifist Lew Hill in 1949 with the first-ever listener funded radio station - KPFA, Berkeley. The Pacifica Mission called for radio that would foster understanding amongst nations and individuals, encourage creativity, and promote innovative, uncensored distribution of news.
On January 10, 1960, WBAI joined Pacifica when philanthropist Louis Schweitzer gave the station to the network. Pacifica now has 5 radio stations (the other four are in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington, DC) and more than 50 affiliate stations across the U.S.
The Pacifica Foundation is a California non-profit corporation. Its governance procedures are laid out in its bylaws and (which includes the Mission Statement). The Board Of Directors, referred to as the national board, has fiduciary responsibility over the network. On and off over the years, there have also been Local Station Boards with varying degrees of responsibility that work with the national board.
(a) To establish a Foundation organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member of the Foundation.
(b) To establish and operate for educational purposes, in such manner that the facilities involved shall be as nearly self-sustaining as possible, one or more radio broadcasting stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and subject in their operation to the regulatory actions of the Commission under the Communications Act of 1934, As Amended.
(c) In radio broadcasting operations to encourage and provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the community; to conduct classes and workshops in the writing and producing of drama; to establish awards and scholarships for creative writing; to offer performance facilities to amateur instrumentalists, choral groups, orchestral groups and music students; and to promote and aid other creative activities which will serve the cultural welfare of the community.
(d) In radio broadcasting operations to engage in any activity that shall contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all of such groups; and through any and all means compatible with the purposes of this corporation to promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms.
(e) In radio broadcasting operations to promote the full distribution of public information; to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium; and to employ such varied sources in the public presentation of accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community.