On The Web
Three years ago, before 9/11, “Democracy Now!” was broadcasting over WBAI to a couple of dozen radio stations. Today it airs on 200 television and radio stations in the U.S., Canada and abroad. It is broadcast on Pacifica Radio stations and affiliates, NPR stations, Pacifica and Public Access TV around the country as well as Free Speech TV (on Satellite TV), Dish Network four times a day, and is web-streamed on its website www.democracynow.org.
This growing popularity-or hunger for independent media-is largely due to “Democracy Now!” 's host and executive producer, Amy Goodman. Ms. Goodman will tell you its success is because of her excellent supportive team. Since it's clear that host and team admire, respect and like each other, it's a natural combination for success.
Ms. Goodman believes that journalists have a responsibility to broadcast diversity of opinion at all times, but especially in times of war and selection. With a narrowing number of media owners, diversity is decreasing.
What is ethical journalism? Today mainstream journalism is mainly corporate journalism and, she feels, it is embedded with national and local authorities. As an example of this, one of “Democracy Now”'s reporters, Ana Nogueira, was arrested in Miami while filming an FTAA protest. One police officer asked another, “Is she with us?” He said no, and Ms. Nogueira was promptly arrested. Goodman feels that the elite personalities of the network press do not represent the majority in this country. This “silenced” majority is not a fringe group, but includes military families, soldiers, people who have lost their life savings to corrupt corporations and those across the political spectrum who object to the government's invasion of privacy. “It is a serious threat to this country not to have a media that is a check and balance on those in power.”
“Information is hope,” she says, “Once people hear something, they know something is being done…. That's the role of the media-to go where the silence is and say something.”
“Democracy Now!” works with independent filmmakers, photographers and journalists around the world and by using the latest technology, they get immediate coverage and still stay within their low budget.
Goodman grew up Bayshore, L. I. in a family dedicated to social justice. Her father, an ophthalmologist, was a member of “Physicians for Social Responsibility.” Her mother, who taught women's history and literature in community colleges, gave her unquestioning support and inspiration. She graduated from Harvard in 1984, intending to become a scientist. After being exposed to WBAI radio, she became an apprentice on a new WBAI show, and a few years later was the station's news director.
In 1991 she and a colleague went to East Timor to cover the American supported Indonesian occupation where they witnessed the shooting and killing of 250 East Timorese by the Indonesian military. Goodman and her colleague were badly beaten, but their documentary, “Massacre: The Story of East Timor” won numerous awards. She has also covered stories in Yugoslavia, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico and Israel's West Bank.
In spite of her fierce independent journalism, she has received some of mainstream journalism's highest honors: The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the George Polk Award and the Overseas Press Club Award.
With her brother, David Goodman, she has co-authored two books:”The Exception to the Rulers-Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them” (2004), and “Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back” (2006).
Appearances on CUNY TV
Brian Lehrer Live
- Leslie Gelb & Amy Goodman
December 13, 2006
- Amy Goodman, host of "Democracy Now!"
December 5, 2006
- Democracy Now! Election Coverage LIVE
November 4, 2014
Eldridge & Co.
Jewish Women in America
- Amy Goodman
February 18, 2004