Numeral that was part of Times Square New Year's Eve "ball drop" display. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP-Getty Images)
Numeral that was part of Times Square New Year’s Eve “ball drop” display. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP-Getty Images)

Yesterday, Forum opened up its phone lines (and Facebook and Twitter lines, too) to hear what stories listeners want covered in 2014. Online Editor and News Fix blogger Dan Brekke and The California Report and KQED Newsroom host Scott Shafer joined the show to add their perspectives and to take notes. Sure, the KQED News and Forum staffs are full of journalists full of opinions as to what qualifies as news, but airtime and manpower are limited. So we want to hear from you, the community we serve, about what stories and issues should KQED prioritize in 2014? Add your suggestions in the comments below. And, yes, we read them.

Here’s some of what we’ve heard from some listeners so far:

Inequality:

  • Agatasul: Please discuss the impact of retirement of baby boomers on the economy, income inequality, wealth transfer, etc.
  • Aaron: I’ve like to see more coverage of the ways in which the USA is becoming a Third World country. We’re behind other countries in almost all measures that matter to most people. Education, corruption, income inequality, prison population, water quality, etc.
  • Pontifikate: How will we deal with structural causes of unemployment? We have a winner-take-all society and most of us are left in the dust. How do we deal with forces of globalization and technology?

Cost of Living:

  • Another Mike: Somehow Asian-American families can raise children in San Francisco — how about a show on how do they do it?

Education:

  • Helen: I would like to see continuing coverage on the City College of San Francisco accreditation issue. With the issues affecting income inequality and increased California State and California University college tuition, there will be a greater need for affordable opportunities to pave the path to a better education, vocational skills and personal development. … There are thoughts that CCSF’s accreditation issue is actually a privatization issue, which would be even more detrimental to a diverse community with a growing need for affordable education.

Government:

  • William: City (Mis)Management! This should be a series of shows.
  • Niles: How did CA go from top 10 nationally in health care and education to bottom 10 in recent decades?

Environment:

  • Lauri: Please do more programs on climate change and environmental justice issues — many experts here in Bay Area on these issues for guests.
  • Coline:  I have been hearing about the dangers of Fukushima reactor meltdown and radiation in the Pacific Ocean. I have not been hearing about this in the mainstream news, however. Snopes reports that some of these reports are exaggerated. I would appreciate hearing about real current concerns about Fukushima reactor meltdown, leakage into the ocean and any linkages with marine wildlife die-offs, concerns about eating fish, swimming in the ocean, etc., perhaps to debunk some of the more extreme news stories, but also just as an update of ongoing concerns and what we around the Pacific Rim should or shouldn’t do in response.
  • Please interview David Blume of Blume Distillation. He is currently opening three fueling stations in the greater Bay Area that source feed stock for distillation into alcohol fuel from local waste products. … The vision is to source waste locally and make it into fuel for local consumption.  Imagine a world without pollution, wars, fracking, tar sands, rail car explosions.
  • Real-time air quality news on PM2.5  with an explanation of what it means and what is (isn’t) being done to clean up our air and reduce air quality mortality (over 40,000 people in California alone per year. And news reporting of the monthly and yearly rates of water leakage loss rates from Bay Area water suppliers (it is over 10 percent per year).

Arts and Culture:

  • Fyza: I would love for Forum to cover more local Bay Area authors and (the local) literary scene. Also, we should embrace the tech in SF and cover new innovations that are happening.
  • Christopher: More about California Indian tribes — from their perspective; not just about casinos; more about their cultural history.
  • Lars: Labyrinths are gaining popularity in hospitals, churches, schools, parks and backyard gardens creating sacred space for walking meditation. San Francisco has been the center of the modern rebirth with the installation of two labyrinths at Grace Cathedral and the leadership of Lauren Artress, who would be a great guest to speak on the past, present, and future of this mindfulness movement.
  • Stav: When Michael Pollan was on this year, he kept citing pithy quotes from a certain food marketer he’d interviewed, who developed a funny homespun philosophy and a rather dim view of humanity. Why not have him on? Also, you had a terrific program about the “A**-hole” expression and what typifies it. There is another American term and concept, also generally applied to males, even more damning: Loser. Perhaps you can devote a discussion to exploring that word and its meanings.

Health:

  • Linda: Please cover elder abuse by county employees, especially public guardians …
  • DDP: Alzheimer’s disease — the coming tsunami.
  • Lauren: There has been very little coverage of the battle in Sonoma County that actually affects the whole Bay Area. That’s the fluoridation issue. Nearly all the counties in our hip part of the earth are fluoridated except Sonoma County, but people are waking up. The decay rate in fluoridated cities isn’t lower than in non, meanwhile current research shows that fluoridation is toxic to the rest of the body and correlates with higher rates of cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. … If Sonoma stops it, then activists elsewhere will try yet again to quit, this applies to us all in the KQED listener area, so how about more coverage?

Technology:

  • Brandon: I think it would be a good idea to open a discussion on creating a constitution for the Internet.
  • Philip: Soon, Congress will be considering action to limit NSA surveillance on U.S. citizens severely and demand transparency and accountability of our spy agencies.  We the people need to make our viewpoints known to Congress and the president. In this connection, could you have some guests discuss the value and the historical-philosophical perspectives on privacy for human well-being?
  • Bruce: A show on open access, Creative Commons and online publishing would be good. There is even an “Open Access Week”.

Misc:

  • Beth: Would love to hear more more shows on population issues, veganism, homeschooling and the growth of the NON religious population. And serious immigration reform NOW.
  • Laura: How about something inspiring about second careers for those over 50?
  • Antoine: I think that a discussion on the fact that we are the retail nation of the world is going to be a problem sooner than later.  We are the buyers of every good in the world but we sell very little to other nations.
  • Kurt_InterestedinForum: Building things is tough, especially if it is new. I’d love to see more interviews with people who have built things, even if they have not written a book. Maybe such interviews could spark the imagination for the listening community.
  •  Another Mike: How about a show on SF’s culture of complaint?
  • Fuliva : Topics to cover in 2014: Societal impacts of growing income inequality, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), the secret life of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
  • Steve: What ever happened to the Bay Area’s Occupy movement?
  • Tom: One topic to consider is planning for your house as you age. Several people I know have placed their houses in trusts to keep Medicare from making claims on it after they pass on.
  • Billy: Not everyone wants to hear about children and schools. How about those who are perfectly happy to not have kids. … Stories for us

Listen to the full Forum episode:

Author

Amanda Stupi

Amanda Stupi is an interactive producer for KQED News. She grew up in Northern California, where her mother would woo her inside on warm summer nights with promises of The Monkees and CHIPS. Stupi is fascinated with the intersection between popular culture and the fine arts. Her idea of artistic perfection includes The Beastie Boys' Check Your Head, Joni Mitchell's Blue, Bull Durham, several episodes of Cheers, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and most of Wallace Stevens' poetry. Stupi's life goals include watching every episode of Law and Order, finishing a screenplay and thanking her mom in an Oscar acceptance speech.

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