October 04, 2022

The Politicization and Decline of Public Radio Station KNKX

Society depends on the media, and particularly public radio stations, to provide objective, non-partisan, unbiased information. 

Unfortunately, a local public radio station, KNKX, has decided to become an outlet for one political viewpoint and a particular flavor of political activism.  As a result, its listenership has declined, its ability to raise money weakened, the residents of the Puget Sound region have been poorly informed, and perhaps most serious of all, a racialist, divisive message has been pushed by the station.

To illustrate the situation, look at their website and compare it to another public radio station in the region, KUOW.   Below are a few front pages of the websites during  the Seattle teacher's strike, a critical issue for Seattle parents

KUOW leads with strike information:

KNKX ignores it to do a story about the sister of Manny Ellis (a minority individual killed during a police stop).

KUOW does a story about the contract vote in Seattle Schools.

More on Manny Ellis by KNKX.

KUOW does a story about Diaz picked as Seattle's police chief.

KNKX does a story about the gay community preparing to fight against Roe v. Wade

I could provide a hundred other examples.  The KNKX front page is dominated by social justice stories while KUOW tries to cover many of the key issues facing local residents.  

As KNKX becomes increasingly a social justice advocacy station, it is shedding listeners and securing far fewer searches on social media.   For example, here is the number of inquiries about KNKX found by using the Google Trends website.  Way down.   

During the last three months, KNKX has lost about a third of its regional market share:

And there are management issues as well at KNKX.

 The well-respected Charity Navigator website has given KNKX (a.k.a Pacific Public Media) an unacceptable score for finances, with only 58% of contributions going to produce content while 21% heads to fundraising and a similar amount to administration.

But the troubles at KNKX don't end with one-sided, politicized reporting, poor use of listeners' contributions, and declining viewership and online readership.

Disturbingly, the station has taken on a racialized, identity political ideology that is quite disturbing, if not illegal.

Consider the station's Diversity Statement.

It states the station has been "white-centered and have catered to mostly white audiences, staff, and donors"  

They commit to having their audience, donors, and staff match the demographics of the 2020 census.

 According to the 2020 census, the Puget Sound region is approximately 73% white, 12% Asian, 6% black, and 7% Asian.  So according to KNKX, they will have to keep their staff about 3/4 white irrespective of the interests and talents of their applicants!   

This is racism, and it is wrong.  The worst of identity politics.  Each person should be judged on their own merits and not the color of their skin or their ethnic or other background.  

KNKX management is stuck in a racialist view that is more reminiscent of the early 20th century than 2022.  It is hurtful and wrong.   Contradictory to the essential principles of our democracy.

KNKX also needs to be open to a diversity of ideas, rather than promoting a monochromatic, "progressive" agenda.  

As I learned, KNKX management is intolerant of diversity of viewpoint (like my blog that opposed defunding politics that got me kicked off the station).   And their partisan coverage often downgrades a certain political party (example below) and the tweets of their senior news staff are highly partisan.

KNKX is in serious trouble and poorly serving the Puget Sound community.  Our region does not need a partisan public radio station that promotes a certain political viewpoint, but a station that provides a wide variety of viewpoints and an electronic public square where all ideas are considered and discussed.

KNKX was saved five years to promote diversity of ideas in our region.  The station could take on that task again and flourish, or continue the path of decline it is on today.


  1. NPR and PBS/CPB have been going far to the left for many decades at this point. I think the only right leaning program on PBS I ever saw was "Firing Line" with William F Buckley, and he usually had on guests who disagreed with him entirely. "All Things Considered" has been a ridiculous show forever, and Ken Burn's recent comments about his new doc regarding the Holocaust are beyond the pale. They should have been defunded long ago, they need to be defunded immediately.

  2. Should KNKX not be covering the murder of a civilian by government agents?

    1. We all saw the video where career criminal Ellis was resisting arrest while having a fatal dose of meth in his system. Tragic circumstance, but not quite the incident BLM or KNKX would have you believe it was. I suggest you reconsider your news sources.

  3. This poison is coursing through all of our society. It is driven by a pathology that leads to self-destruction. Will the patient survive? Unfortunately, it's probably too late. A future generation will have to pick up the pieces and start over again.

  4. To be fair, KNKX is licensed to Tacoma, not Seattle, so their focus on stories relevant to that city (e.g. the Manny Ellis case) makes sense. However, I am concerned about the drift of so many media outlets into advocacy journalism. The Stranger and KING 5 have been the most egregious.

  5. You're giving KUOW way too much credit here. Their programming has every bit the leftward bias that KNKX's does.

  6. I generally agree, but I do like the story programs and music. I'm sticking to weather: When do you think we can expect a visit from the Pineapple Express? That would be so nice.


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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