ID:21719 Section: Website

Updated:Wednesday 25th February 2015 Definition

(Wikipedia) - Democracy Now!   (Redirected from For other uses, see Democracy Now (disambiguation). Democracy Now! Genre Running time Country Language(s) Syndicates Host(s) Exec. producer(s) Recording studio Air dates Audio format Opening theme Website Podcast
News program, current affairs
60 minutes daily (M-F)
United States
Pacifica Radio (1,250+ stations)
Amy Goodman Juan Gonzalez
Amy Goodman
New York City
since 1996
Stereophonic sound
"Need to Know" by Incognito
Audio Video

Democracy Now! is a daily progressive, nonprofit, independently syndicated news hour that airs on more than 1,250 radio, television, satellite and cable TV networks around the globe. The award-winning one-hour news program is hosted by investigative journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The program is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations, and does not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding.

  • 1 Background
    • 1.1 Studios
    • 1.2 Syndication
  • 2 Awards and reaction
  • 3 2008 Republican National Convention arrests
  • 4 Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

BackgroundThe show was located in the DCTV firehouse building (a converted firehouse) in New York City''s Chinatown.

Democracy Now! was founded on February 19, 1996 at WBAI-FM in New York City by progressive journalists Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin. It originally aired on five Pacifica Radio stations. Goodman is the program''s principal host, with Juan Gonzalez as frequent co-host. Jeremy Scahill, an investigative reporter for The Nation, has been a frequent contributor since 1997. The program''s first fifteen minutes, called the "War and Peace Report" are translated daily into Spanish. The Democracy Now! website is also available in Spanish. The program focuses on issues considered underreported or ignored by mainstream news coverage. 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! 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 brought 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 hourlong 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 8 years. The studio subsequently moved to a repurposed graphic arts building in the Chelsea District of Manhattan. In 2010, the new 8500-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. 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. Democracy Now! is also available on the Internet as downloadable and streaming audio and video. In total, over 1,200 television and radio stations broadcast Democracy Now! worldwide.

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

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!.

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. 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, "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.

Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates
This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. Please help to clean it up to meet Wikipedia''s quality standards. Where appropriate, incorporate items into the main body of the article. (April 2013)
  • Alan Dershowitz and Norman G. Finkelstein – 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.
  • Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve – by Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein, journalist and author of The Shock Doctrine, September 24, 2007. In a follow-up interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele, based on their October 2007 article in Vanity Fair, call Greenspan "flat wrong" regarding claims by Greenspan in that interview denying Federal Reserve responsibility in the transfer of billions of dollars from the Federal Reserve to Iraq, $9 billion of which the reporters claim has yet to be accounted.
  • Arundhati Roy – Recurring guest; Indian writer, anti-war activist, and leading figure in the alter-globalization movement
  • Bill Clinton – Interviewed after hours on election day of the U.S. presidential election, 2000. The heated interview on the Clinton Administration''s neoliberal policies, bombing of Vieques, Iraq sanctions, Leonard Peltier, the death penalty, the Cuban embargo, racial profiling, Ralph Nader, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict resulted in the outgoing President calling Amy Goodman "hostile and combative." A staffer at the White House press office later criticized Goodman for straying from the topic of getting out the vote and for keeping Clinton on much longer than the two to three minutes agreed. Goodman replied "President Clinton is the most powerful person in the world. He can hang up when he wants to."
  • Bill Moyers – Interviewed; former Johnson Administration press secretary and former host of the PBS show NOW with Bill Moyers and former host of the PBS show Bill Moyers'' Journal.
  • Cornel West – Scholar, currently a professor at Union Theological Seminary, formerly at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale; activist; author.
  • Danny Glover – Regular guest; American actor, film director, and political activist.
  • Dennis Kucinich, Democratic presidential candidate – Interviewed by Goodman and Gonzalez on November 9, 2007.
  • Edward Said – was a regular guest; Columbia University professor, literary critic and Palestinian activist and intellectual
  • Evo Morales, President of Bolivia – Interviewed on September 22, 2006; talked about his recent speech at the United Nations in New York where he held up a coca leaf and argued for international drug law reform as well as talked about the nationalization of Bolivia''s energy reserves among other topics. Morales was again interviewed on April 23, 2010 after the World Peoples'' Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
  • George McGovern, 1972 Democratic presidential nominee – Interviewed on March 11, 2008 about that year''s presidential race and how McGovern''s chairmanship of the Democratic Party Reform Commission (1969–70) transformed the nominating process.
  • George Monbiot, climate change activist, and Helen Caldicott, debated nuclear power after the Fukushima Dai-Ichi incident "A Debate on the Future of Nuclear Energy"
  • George Papandreou, Greek Prime Minister – Interviewed on December 8, 2011 at U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa shortly after resigning due to pressure from European Union and financial institutions.
  • Gore Vidal – U.S.-author, essayist, and political activist; interviewed sparsely on a few occasions.
  • Greg Palast – Frequent guest; U.S.-born writer and investigative journalist for the BBC and The Observer.
  • Howard Zinn – Interviewed by Amy Goodman; late historian and activist; author of several books, including A People''s History of the United States.
  • Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela – Interviewed in September 2005.
  • Jean-Bertrand Aristide – on March 16, 2004, the recently ousted Haitian President accused the United States of kidnapping him and overthrowing the government of Haiti.
  • Jimmy Carter – Interviewed by on 10 September 2007; former U.S. President: author of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.
  • Joseph Stiglitz – Recurring guest; Columbia University economics professor, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner (2001), and author
  • Julian Assange
  • Paul Krugman – Recurring guest; Princeton University economics professor, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner (2008), and author
  • Lori Berenson – Interviewed in 1999 in Peru by Amy Goodman; political activist arrested in 1995 and convicted for collaborating with the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, a Peruvian leftist guerrilla organization. It was the first time a journalist was able to interview Berenson inside the prison where she was incarcerated.
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
  • Manuel Zelaya – multiple interviews with the ousted president of Honduras
  • Matt Taibbi – Frequent guest; U.S.-born writer and investigative journalist for the The Nation
  • Michael Eric Dyson – Regular guest; Georgetown professor, writer & radio host.
  • Michael Moore – Filmmaker, author, political commentator; interviewed on March 10, 2011 & on September 28, 2011
  • Mumia Abu-Jamal – 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.
  • Naomi Klein – Author, public intellectual, and critic of globalization and corporate capitalism. Interviewed on March 9, 2011.
  • Noam Chomsky – A regularly interviewed guest; MIT linguistics professor, political analyst, and author.
  • Norman Finkelstein – Author, activist and scholar.
  • Oliver Stone - Director, producer, screen writer.
  • Ralph Nader – A regularly interviewed guest; consumer activist, corporate critic, author, and former presidential candidate.
  • Ricardo Alarcón – President of the Cuban National Assembly interviewed by Amy Goodman.
  • Robert Fisk – Frequent guest; British journalist who is Middle East correspondent for The Independent.
  • John Pilger – Frequent guest; Australian journalist and film-maker.
  • Scott Ritter – Interviewed; former UN weapons inspector who disputed the Bush administration''s claims about weapons programs in Iraq.
  • Tariq Ali and Christopher Hitchens – took opposing sides in two debates over the Iraq War, on December 4, 2003 and October 12, 2004.
  • Tawakel Karman – The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient appeared 21 October 2011, while she was in New York for a UN Security Council resolution that would create a path for Yemen President Saleh to resign.
  • Yoko Ono – Musician, peace activist and widow of John Lennon. Interviewed on October 16, 2007.

Tags:9/11, Africa, Ahmadinejad, American, Australian, BBC, Bolivia, British, Bush, Chevron, Columbia, Columbia University, Community,, European Union, Evo Morales, Federal Reserve, Fukushima, Georgetown, Greek, Haiti, Harvard, Honduras, Hugo Chávez, Internet, Iraq, Israel, Jimmy Carter, Kennedy, MIT, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Manhattan, Middle East, Nations, New York, New York City, Nigeria, Nigerian, Noam Chomsky, Nobel, Nobel Peace Prize, Oliver Stone, Palestine, Palestinian, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philadelphia, President, Prime Minister, Princeton, Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize, Radio, Scott Ritter, Security Council, September 11, South Africa, The Nation, U.N, UN Security Council, United Nations, United States, Vanity Fair, Venezuela, Website, White House, Wikipedia, Yemen Media Terms Articles Your Feedback