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Managing Chaos: Adventures in Alternative Media. Greg Guma

Managing Chaos: Adventures in Alternative Media. Greg Guma

An eye-witness account that explores the unique, tumultuous history of Pacifica radio and alternative media in America.

After an eclectic career, Greg Guma discusses the evolution of radio and television, the impacts of concentrated media ownership, the rise of the alternative press, his own work in Vermont — before and during a progressive revolution that changed the state’s power structure, and decades later, how he managed the original listener-supported radio network.

Weaving together an intimate chronicle of what he saw as Pacifica Radio’s first post-revolution CEO and episodes from his earlier life as a reporter, editor and activist, Guma explores the challenges of maintaining democratic institutions in a culture of distrust and polarization, of striking the delicate balance between truth and advocacy, observation and participation, and of managing conflicts with persuasion instead of force. 

Managing Chaos is a media saga, a personal story, and a cautionary tale.

…a skilled writer who has immersed himself in Vermont life and politics for decades.  — Sasha Abramsky

…the first executive in Pacifica who has been willing, and able, to share his experiences…. They ought to be required reading for all PNB and LSB members.  —  Nalini Lasiewicz

Excerpts from the Book

“The deeper I looked the more convoluted and intractable the problems appeared: Charges and counter-charges of secrecy, waste, racism, sexism, harassment and violence, turf battles over local fiefdoms, manipulation, and alleged fraud. It seemed like a fratricidal war with no end in sight. 

“It reminded me of how easily reality can be blurred by misinformation. That July, Jeff Ruch, the director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, had issued a relevant assessment of a much larger and even more dysfunctional organization. ‘The federal government,’ he concluded, ‘is suffering from a severe disinformation syndrome.’

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