"The purpose of WPFW-FM Pacifica is to provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the community, to contribute to a lasting understanding between individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors, and to promote the full distribution of public information.
Programming on WPFW will principally be a mix of jazz, Third World music, news and public affairs.
The airwaves at 89.3 will be an accessible media outlet for Blacks, Hispanics, cultural groups, women, seniors, youth and other ethnic and non-traditional groups. WPFW programming will make the concept of community radio real by providing the local majority population with important and relevant education, information and entertainment. Through its programming the station will act as a networking agent for the community at large.
WPFW?s air will be commercial free and in conformance with Pacifica Foundation resolutions prohibiting commercial under- writing of programming.
Programming will lend itself to an on-air listener participation, will strive to exemplify journalistic integrity, and will work toward being engaging and intellectually stimulating.
Jazz, a major American art form which grows from the African-American experience, will be the major music programming. WPFW will act as archivist, educator, and entertainer on behalf of this under served national cultural resource.
WPFW is dedicated to programming which reflects progressive social change and democracy. The station will continue and further a global, humanistic, and futuristic approach to news, public affairs, the creative arts and cultural programming. Internally WPFW will work to upgrade the quality of work at all levels.
Our continued use of and high regard for volunteers will provide an opportunity for individual skill development in radio broadcast techniques, and broadcast management. Volunteer opportunities will be available in most areas of program administration."
WPFW is the fifth station of Pacifica Radio, a progressive network founded in 1949 by maverick broadcaster Lewis Hill. WPFW began in 1977, in a very modest facility?a single room, divided into four segments. One section served as the on-air studio, the others were the administrative office, newsroom, and a place for volunteers to prepare their programs. WPFW?s Blues man Nap Turner recalls the day he first came to the station. He was surprised to find that such a "big sound" was coming out of a corner where the turntables rested on crates. Some twenty-five years later, support from WPFW listeners has enabled the station to have modern facilities, with separate studios for broadcast, program production, and for volunteers to put together shows.
From the beginning, WPFW has been the voice for alternative programming in the Washington metropolitan area. In essence, the station started out, and continues, challenging the norm and passionately serving the under-served of our community.
WPFW has been and continues to be a unique community resource dedicated to aiding the community in a way that only radio can. In addition, we remain free of corporate sponsorship. Thus, listener support is crucial.
Since its inception, volunteerism has been at the heart of WPFW. Our own Von Martin, a volunteer, was the first voice to sign the station on a quarter of a century ago. Von began his first broadcast with Duke Ellington?s "Take the ?A? Train" and we?ve been the "Jazz Messenger" ever since. To this very day, we have volunteers who have been with WPFW for twenty or more years. Our volunteers are from all backgrounds and cultures, speak numerous languages, and come from all over the world. They come to WPFW and they stay because of their love for the station, its listeners and the craft of broadcasting. Through volunteerism, WPFW provides neighbors, friends, and family members opportunities to learn broadcasting and to gain a better understanding of the global community in which we live.