Democracy now

For other uses, see Democracy Now (disambiguation).
Democracy Now!
Genre News program, current affairs
Running time 60 minutes daily (M-F)
Country United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates Pacifica Radio
(950+ stations)[1]
Host(s) Amy Goodman
Juan Gonzalez
Exec. producer(s) Amy Goodman
Recording studio New York City
Air dates since 1996
Audio format Stereophonic sound
Opening theme "Need to Know" by Incognito

Democracy Now! is a United States daily progressive, nonprofit, independently syndicated program of news, analysis, and opinion,[2] aired by more than 1000 radio, television, satellite and cable TV networks in North America.[3] The award-winning one hour War and Peace Report is hosted by investigative journalists Amy Goodman[4] and Juan Gonzalez.[3][5] The program is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations, and does not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding.[3]


Democracy Now! was founded on 19 February 1996 at WBAI-FM in New York City by left-wing progressive/liberal journalists Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin.[6] It originally aired on 5 Pacifica Radio stations.[2] Goodman is the program's principal host, with Juan Gonzalez as frequent co-host.[7] Jeremy Scahill, an investigative reporter for The Nation, has been a frequent contributor since 1997.[2] The Spanish version includes the daily headlines, as well as a weekly summary of the news and was begun by Andres Thomas Conteris in May 2005. The program focuses on issues its producers consider underreported or ignored by mainstream news coverage. Democracy Now! began broadcasting on television every weekday shortly after September 11, 2001, and it is the only public media in the U.S. that airs simultaneously on satellite and cable television, radio, and the internet.[8]


Democracy Now! is a left-wing flagship national program of the Pacifica Radio network.[9] The television simulcast airs on Public-access television stations; by satellite on Free Speech TV and Link TV, and free-to-air on C Band.[10] Democracy Now! is also available on the Internet as downloadable and streaming audio and video.[11] In total, over 1,200 television and radio stations broadcast Democracy Now! worldwide.[1]

Awards and reaction

"I think it's probably the most significant progressive news institution that has come around in some time."

Robert W. McChesney, quoted in The Nation[12]

Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television;[13] 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;[14] 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.[15]

On October 1, 2008, Goodman was named as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award,[16] in connection with her years of work establishing Democracy Now!.

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.[17] 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.[18] All were held on charges of "probable cause for riot."[19] 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.[20]

Goodman, Salazar, and Kouddous subsequently filed a lawsuit against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as other defendants.[20] 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.[21]

Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates

See also


External links

  • Twitter
  • Template:Google+
  • Facebook
  • VIDEO: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times, Democracy Now! host, Amy Goodman, and her brother, David Goodman, from their recent book tour, April 14, 2008, Portland, Oregon.
  • The Independent (June 2002)
  • Internet Movie Database
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