The image is from Wikipedia Commons
|Genre||News program, current affairs|
|Running time||60 minutes daily (M–F)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Syndicates||Pacifica Radio (radio)
|Produced by||Mike Burke|
|Executive producer(s)||Amy Goodman|
|Recording studio||New York City|
|Original release||February 19, 1996 (1996-02-19) – present|
|Audio format||Stereophonic sound|
|Opening theme||"Need to Know" by Incognito|
|Ending theme||"Kid You'll Move Mountains" by Manitoba|
Democracy Now! is an hour-long American TV, radio and internet news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman, who also acts as the show's executive producer, Juan González, and Nermeen Shaikh. The show, which airs live each weekday at 8 a.m. Eastern Time, is broadcast on the internet and by over 1,400 radio and television stations worldwide.
The program combines news reporting, interviews, investigative journalism and political commentary, with a focus on peace activism linked to environmental justice and social justice, guided by the ethics of ecofeminism as a philosophy.[not verified in body] It documents social movements, struggles for justice, activism challenging corporate power and operates as a watchdog outfit regarding the effects of American foreign policy. Democracy Now! views as its aim to give activists and the citizenry a platform to debate people from "The Establishment." The show is described as progressive by fans as well as critics, but Goodman rejects that label, calling the program a global newscast that has "people speaking for themselves." Democracy Now! describes its staff as "includ[ing] some of this country's leading progressive journalists."
Democracy Now Productions, the independent media nonprofit organization which produces Democracy Now!, is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations such as the Park Foundation, Ford Foundation, Lannan Foundation, and the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Democracy Now! does not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting or government funding. The show has become popular on the internet, and from the late 2010s onward, has been involved in pioneering extensive media cooperation in the public sphere across the US.
Democracy Now! was founded on February 19, 1996 at WBAI in New York City by journalists Amy Goodman, Juan González, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin. It originally aired on five Pacifica Radio stations. Goodman is the program's principal host, with Juan González and Nermeen Shaikh as frequent co-hosts. Jeremy Scahill, an investigative reporter and co-founding editor for The Intercept, has been a frequent contributor since 1997.
Democracy Now! partnered with Free Speech TV (FSTV) to cover the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Due to FSTV's satellite broadcast of the convention, the event marked a turning point for Democracy Now!, as in addition to its presence on radio, it became a television show. From then onward, Democracy Now! has had their content promoted and broadcast on FSTV.
Democracy Now! began broadcasting on television every weekday shortly after September 11, 2001, and is the only public media in the U.S. that airs simultaneously on satellite and cable television, radio, and the internet.
Democracy Now! has been critical of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. After data disclosures by the whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks regarding the TPP in 2010, Democracy Now! has given a significant media platform and extensively covered them since, and like some other news networks cooperated with its leader Julian Assange. Coverage of WikiLeaks by Democracy Now! was sympathetic and without slants, unlike several traditional news networks, including some of its partners.
On February 19, 2016, Democracy Now! marked 20 years on the air with an hour-long retrospective look back at "two decades of independent, unembedded news," with highlights chosen from over 5,000 episodes. Amy Goodman also published a book entitled "Democracy Now!: 20 Years Covering the Movements Changing America," and launched a 100-city tour across the United States to mark the 20th anniversary of Democracy Now!, with scheduled broadcasts of the show recorded during her travels.
Democracy Now! began as a radio program broadcast from the studios of WBAI, a local Pacifica Radio station in New York City. In early September 2001, amid a months-long debate over the mission and management of Pacifica, Democracy Now! was forced out of the WBAI studios. Goodman took the program to the Downtown Community Television Center located in a converted firehouse building in New York City's Chinatown, where the program began to be televised. Only a few days later on September 11, 2001 Democracy Now! was the closest national broadcast to Ground Zero. On that day Goodman and colleagues continued reporting beyond their scheduled hour-long time slot in what became an eight-hour marathon broadcast. Following 9/11, in addition to radio and television, Democracy Now! expanded their multimedia reach to include cable, satellite radio, Internet, and podcasts.
In November 2009, Democracy Now! left their broadcast studio in the converted DCTV firehouse, where they had broadcast for eight years. The studio subsequently moved to a repurposed graphic arts building in the Chelsea District of Manhattan. In 2010, the new 8,500-square-foot Democracy Now! studio became the first radio or television studio in the nation to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Democracy Now! is the flagship program of the Pacifica Radio network. It also airs on several NPR member stations. The television simulcast airs on public-access television and several PBS stations; by satellite on Free Speech TV and Link TV, and free-to-air on C Band. Democracy Now! is also available on the Internet as downloadable and streaming audio and video. In total, nearly 1,400 television and radio stations broadcast Democracy Now! worldwide.
Awards and reception
Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of two Nigerian villagers protesting an oil spill; and Goodman with Allan Nairn won Robert F. Kennedy Memorial's First Prize in International Radio for their 1993 report, Massacre: The Story of East Timor which involved first-hand coverage of genocide during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.
On October 1, 2008, Goodman was named as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, in connection with her years of work establishing Democracy Now! and in 2009, she, like her frequent guest Glenn Greenwald, was awarded the first annual Izzy Award (named after journalist I. F. "Izzy" Stone) for "special achievement in independent media." Her co-host Juan González was inducted into the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists' Hall of Fame on November 19, 2015.
In 2017, Democracy Now! was criticized by anti-war organization Veterans for Peace Chapter 162, and subsequently in news reports by independent news outlets Black Agenda Report and Resumen Latinamericano who reported that Democracy Now! newscasts on Syria had strayed from the program's progressive roots in a way that supported U.S. interventionist politics. Black Agenda Report has since published reports criticizing Democracy Now! on similar grounds regarding its reporting on Libya, Nicaragua and China. The watchdog group SourceWatch has collated similar criticisms of Democracy Now! made previous to 2017, including critiques of its reporting on Pakistan and its treatment of interns.
2008 Republican National Convention arrests
Three journalists with Democracy Now!—including principal host Amy Goodman, and news producers Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous—were detained by police during their reporting on the 2008 Republican National Convention protests in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Salazar was filming as officers in full riot gear charged her area. As she yelled "Press!" she was knocked down and told to put her face in the ground while another officer dragged her backward by her leg across the pavement. The video footage of the incident was immediately posted on the Internet, leading to a large public outcry against her arrest. When a second producer, Kouddous, approached, he too was arrested, and charged with a felony. According to a press release by Democracy Now!, Goodman herself was arrested after confronting officers regarding the arrest of her colleagues. The officers had established a line of "crowd control," and ordered Goodman to move back. Goodman claims she was arrested after being pulled through the police line by an officer, and subsequently (as well as Kouddous) had her press credentials for the convention physically stripped from her by a Secret Service agent. All were held on charges of "probable cause for riot." A statement was later released by the city announcing that all "misdemeanor charges for presence at an unlawful assembly for journalists" would be dropped. The felony charges against Salazar and Kouddous were also dropped.
Goodman, Salazar, and Kouddous subsequently filed a lawsuit against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as other defendants. According to Baher Asmy of the Center for Constitutional Rights, "[a]ll three plaintiffs that are journalists with Democracy Now reached a final settlement with the city of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the United States Secret Service, that will resolve the claims that they had against them from unlawful and quite violent arrests." The settlement includes $100,000 in compensation and a promise of police training.
2016 North Dakota access pipeline protests
In September 2016, an arrest warrant for criminal trespass was issued for Amy Goodman after covering for Democracy Now! the Dakota Access Pipeline protests during which guards unleashed dogs and pepper spray on protesters in Morton County, North Dakota. An arrest warrant was reportedly also issued for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka.
Goodman elected to turn herself in. Three days before the court date, the charges were increased to engaging in a riot, which carried a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. On October 17, 2016, the judge quickly dismissed the charges, but Morton County prosecutors insisted the case is still open and that they may pursue further charges in the future. Goodman asserted the importance of freedom of the press and said that Democracy Now! would continue covering the developing situation in North Dakota.
Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates
|Guest(s)||First Appearance(s)||Episode or Guest Notoriety|
|Mumia Abu-Jamal||February 24, 1997||In its first year, Democracy Now! was one of the first national programs to air radio commentaries from the controversial journalist and former Black Panther Party member, on death row in Pennsylvania for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. The 1997 decision to air Abu-Jamal's commentaries caused Democracy Now! to lose twelve of its then 36 affiliates.|
|December 4, 2003
October 12, 2004
|Took opposing sides in two debates over the Iraq War, on December 4, 2003 and October 12, 2004.|
|Noam Chomsky||July 11, 1996||A regularly interviewed guest; MIT linguistics professor, political analyst, and author.|
|President Bill Clinton||November 8, 2000||When Clinton called WBAI on Election Day 2000 for a quick get-out-the-vote message, Goodman and WBAI's Gonzalo Aburto challenged him for 28 minutes with human rights questions about Leonard Peltier, racial profiling, the Iraq sanctions, Ralph Nader, the death penalty, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the normalization of relations with Cuba, and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Clinton defended his administration's policies and charged Goodman with being "hostile and combative".|
|Angela Davis||October 12, 2010||Interviewed various times on the show, Davis is a prison abolitionist and scholar. Davis' interviews have featured topics such as the prison industrial complex, Palestine and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, US politics and the demonetization of radicals, and her past activism. She was also interviewed in the summer of 2020 during the George Floyd uprisings, speaking on the political moment and spread of abolitionist ideas.|
Norman G. Finkelstein
|September 24, 2003||Finkelstein is a frequent guest. This was a much publicized debate about whether the Dershowitz book, The Case for Israel was plagiarized and inaccurate. Dershowitz has written that he agreed to appear on the show after being told he would debate Noam Chomsky, not Finkelstein. See also: Dershowitz–Finkelstein affair.|
|Naomi Klein||June 13, 1997||Author, public intellectual, and critic of globalization and corporate capitalism. Notable interview on March 9, 2011.|
|Winona LaDuke||September 4, 1996||Ojibwe activist and former Green Vice Presidential Candidate.|
|Ralph Nader||June 14, 1996||A regularly interviewed guest; consumer activist, corporate critic, author, and former presidential candidate.|
|July 26, 2016||Clinton Administration Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Chris Hedges debated on the role of Bernie Sanders supporters after Hillary Clinton won the 2016 Democratic nomination for president of the United States. Reich encouraged progressives to unite the party behind Clinton (as Sanders had already endorsed her), while Hedges endorsed Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party of the United States, denouncing the "lesser of two evils" approach.|
|Arundhati Roy||December 15, 2008||Recurring guest; Indian writer, anti-war activist, and leading figure in the alter-globalization movement.|
|Kshama Sawant||January 6, 2014||Seattle City Council member and member of Socialist Alternative, who made history in 2013 by becoming the first independent socialist to win election in Seattle for nearly 100 years. A frequent guest, including after her successful re-election campaign in November 2019.|
|Joseph Stiglitz||June 6, 2012||Recurring guest; Nobel Laureate economist; former Chief Economist of the World Bank; Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute|
|Studs Terkel||November 27, 2008||Another radio broadcaster who collected stories from everyday people.|
|Roger Waters||December 30, 2009||English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer who co-founded Pink Floyd.|
|Edward Snowden||June 10, 2013||American whistleblower who revealed unlawful mass surveillance carried out by the US government while working as a contractor.|
|Greta Thunberg||September 10, 2019||Swedish climate activist who sailed from Europe to America.|
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- Park Foundation - Grants Awarded - 1st Quarter 2020 (PDF), p. 6.
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- "Democracy Now! Turns 20: A Freewheeling Look Back at Two Decades of Independent, Unembedded News". Democracy Now!. February 19, 2016.
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Lamb, Brian (March 25, 2016). "Q & A with Amy Goodman". C-SPAN. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
in the hallowed halls, they're not in touch
Lizzy Ratner (May 23, 2005). "Amy Goodman's 'Empire'". The Nation. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
Goodman herself lays the credit--or blame--for the program's success squarely at the well-rested feet of the mainstream newsmakers who, she said, leave "a huge niche" for Democracy Now! "They just mine this small circle of blowhards who know so little about so much. And yet it's just the basic tenets of good journalism that instead of this small circle of pundits, you talk to people who live at the target end of the policy,"
- "Amy Goodman Wins Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television". King Features. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "Long Island University Announces Winners of 1998 George Polk Awards" (Press release). Long Island University. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
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- "Deadline Club: List of Hall of Fame Honorees". Deadline Club. NY Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "The Deadline Club's Hall of Fame". Deadline Club. NY Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- Veterans for Peace Chapter 162 (April 15, 2017) We Need Better and More Diverse Coverage on Syria: Open Letter to Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! - Dissident Voice
- Garrison, Ann (May 17, 2017) Peace Activists Confront Amy Goodman on Biased Syria Coverage - Black Agenda Report
- Haiphong, Danny (May 12, 2017) Democracy Now Runs Interference for Imperialism in Syria - Resumen
- Haiphong, Danny (August 5, 2020) American Left Silence on China Helps Lay Foundation for the U.S.’ New Cold War - Black Agenda Report
- Haiphong, Danny (February 24, 2021) Democracy Now Provides Progressive Cover to State Department Propaganda Campaign Against China - Black Agenda Report
- "Sourcewatch: Democracy Now! Criticism". Center for Media and Democracy. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
- "Amy Goodman, Others Detained Outside RNC". The Nation. September 1, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
- "Democracy Now! Host and Producers Arrested at Republican Convention". The Washington Post. September 1, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman arrested at RNC protest". Minnesota Public Radio. September 1, 2008. Archived from the original on September 2, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
- Karnowski, Steve (May 5, 2010). "Journalists file lawsuit in GOP convention arrests". Salon. Associated Press. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- Nelson, Tim (October 3, 2011). "Radio host wins settlement against Twin Cities police". Minnesota Public Radio.
- Dalrymple, Amy (September 10, 2016). "Reporter who documented guard dogs charged with trespassing at pipeline protest site". WDAZ. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "Reporter & presidential candidate wanted for trespassing at pipeline protest". njtoday.net. September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- Bogle, Ariel (September 11, 2016). "Arrest warrant issued for Amy Goodman after North Dakota protest coverage". Mashable. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- McDannoct, Erin (October 17, 2016). "Judge Rejects Riot Charge Against Amy Goodman of 'Democracy Now' Over Pipeline Protest". The New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- Grueskin, Caroline (October 17, 2016). "Protest winds down at Morton County Courthouse". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- Buncombe, Andrew; Garcia, Feliks (October 17, 2016). "Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman 'rioting' charges rejected by judge after filming attack on Native American protesters". The Independent. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- Levin, Sam (October 17, 2016). "Judge rejects riot charges for journalist Amy Goodman after oil pipeline protest". The Guardian. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- Hiltzik, Michael (October 17, 2016). "N. Dakota charges reporter with 'riot' for covering protest--but gets slapped down by judge". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- Marc Fisher (February 25, 1997). "Pacifica Stations Bolt Over Convicted Killer's Commentary". The Washington Post.
- "Tariq Ali vs. Christopher Hitchens on the Occupation of Iraq: Postponed Liberation or Recolonisation?". Democracy Now!. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Tariq Ali v. Christopher Hitchens: A Debate on the U.S. War on Iraq, the Bush-Kerry Race and the Neo-Conservative Movement Archived November 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left. New York University Press. 2008. pp. 290. ISBN 978-0-8147-1686-1. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
tariq ali democracy now.
- "Noam Chomsky". Democracy Now!. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Thomas Boothe; Danielle Follette (January 2008). "" Democracy now " donne sa voix à la gauche américaine" ["Democracy now" gives its voice to the American Left]. Le Monde diplomatique (in French). Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Democracy Now! Exclusive Interview with President Bill Clinton, Democracy Now!, November 8, 2000. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- Bill Clinton Loses His Cool in Democracy Now! Interview on Everything But Monica, Democracy Now!, June 22, 2004. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- "Angela Davis on the Prison Abolishment Movement, Frederick Douglass, the 40th Anniversary of Her Arrest and President Obama's First Two Years". Democracy Now!. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- "Hands Off Assata Shakur: Angela Davis Calls for Radical Activism to Protect Activist Exiled in Cuba". Democracy Now!. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- "Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Angela Davis on Ferguson, Palestine & the Foundations of a Movement". Democracy Now!. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- "Angela Davis on Abolition, Calls to Defund Police, Toppled Racist Statues & Voting in 2020 Election". Democracy Now!. July 3, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- Alan Dershowitz (May 14, 2007). "Taking the Bait". The New Republic. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
- "Naomi Klein on Anti-Union Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style: "This is a Frontal Assault on Democracy, a Corporate Coup D'Etat"". Democracy Now!. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- "Democracy Now! Speaks to Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault II and Winona LaDuke". Indian Country Today Media Network. August 30, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "Ralph Nader on the G-20, Healthcare Reform, Mideast Talks and His First Work of Fiction, "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!"". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "Who Should Bernie Voters Support Now? Robert Reich vs. Chris Hedges on Tackling the Neoliberal Order". July 26, 2016. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- "Shows With Arundhati Roy". Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- ""Seattle Is Not For Sale": Voters Rebuke Amazon, Re-electing Socialist Kshama Sawant". Democracy Now!. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- Goodman, Amy (November 27, 2008). "Studs Terkel 1912–2008: A Democracy Now! Special Tribute to the Beloved Oral Historian and broadcaster". Democracy Now!. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Wieder, Alan (2016). Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, but Mostly Conversation. ISBN 978-1-58367-593-9. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Launches "Campaign to Close Guantánamo" for Obama's Last Year in Office". Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "VIDEO: Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Performs "We Shall Overcome" In Democracy Now! Studio". January 29, 2016. Archived from the original on September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- “You’re Being Watched”: Edward Snowden Emerges as Source Behind Explosive Revelations of NSA Spying June 10, 2013 democracynow.org
- "An Hour with 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg". Democracy Now. September 11, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
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