For Immediate Release
Friday, October 13, 2017
What: KBBF RADIO PROVIDES MUCH-NEEDED LIVE COVERAGE OF CALIFORNIA FIRES IN SPANISH
Contact: Alicia Sanchez, President, Board of Directors, Bilingual Broadcasting Foundation, Inc.
Edgar Avila, Director of Programming, KBBF-fm
KBBF-fm, the first Spanish-English bilingual radio station in the United States, with a coverage of 18 counties in northern California, has been planning an on-air fund drive for months to promote new website, online streaming capability, and to recruit recurring (monthly) donors. The fund drive was scheduled for Oct. 13th through Oct. 22nd.
When the Sonoma County and Napa County fires happened, KBBF programming management had to make the decision whether to continue with the drive or not. This particular drive is based on communicating the volunteers’ passion for KBBF to the audience, and stressing the importance of KBBF.
For this reason, KBBF decided to move forward with the campaign. KBBF is the ONLY radio station giving continuous live information about the fires in Spanish. Staring Monday, from 6am to 10 or 11pm, KBBF volunteers have been in our offices researching information and in the studio relaying and translating the updates to the Spanish-speaking communities of Northern California, some doing 12 hour shifts. Without any funding, KBBF has served as the ONLY medium by which public officials and authorities can relay information in Spanish over the radio, when many cell phone towers are down and power is out in many areas. In this way, supporting KBBF is a way of directly donating to the fire relief efforts.
We have interviewed the Mexican Consulate, Congressman Jared Huffman, representatives of CALFIRE, Napa County Supervisor Belia Gomez, representatives of the County of Sonoma, countless volunteers reporting in from shelters and service centers, and thousands of community members asking questions, sharing their experiences, conditions in their area, and appreciation for KBBF’s work. KBBF volunteers who have covered the fires have also been interviewed by the BBC in London, on Radio Bilingue, a national radio network, and by a radio station in Brazil, as a result of a volunteer relaying information in Portugese.
KBBF has reported information of particular importance to the vulnerable immigrant communities who might otherwise be reluctant to receive relief services or resources for fear of being deported. We have also reported specific information for LGBT people, as well as reporting in Mixteco, a Native American language of southern Mexico spoken by large portions of Sonoma County.
The fund drive consists of asking people to visit our new website kbbf.org, clicking the donate button, and signing up as recurring monthly donors for $4.99. We also encourage listeners to tune in via their smart phones at kbbf.org.