is a syndicated
program of news, analysis,
and opinion aired by more than 700 radio
networks in North America
serves as the flagship program for the
network and is
generally considered liberal
Democracy Now! was founded in 1996
at WBAI-FM in New York City by journalists Amy
Gonzalez, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin.
Goodman is the program's principal host, with Juan Gonzalez as
frequent co-host. Jeremy Scahill
frequent contributor. Since 2008, producers Anjali Kamat and Sharif
Abdel Kouddous have occasionally been featured as fill-in hosts.
The Spanish version (Democracy Now! en Español) includes the daily
headlines, as well as a weekly summary of the news and was begun by
Andres Thomas Conteris
The program focuses on issues its producers consider underreported
or ignored by mainstream news
Democracy Now!'s War and Peace Report provides
our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in
the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and
international journalists, ordinary people from around the world
who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots
leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent
Goodman's tagline for the program is, "The Exception to the
Democracy Now! is headquartered in a
converted firehouse building in New York City's Chinatown owned by the Downtown
Community Television Center (DCTV).
The show was previously broadcast from Pacifica Radio's WBAI radio
station in New York, and was relocated to the DCTV firehouse during
a management conflict at the station, during 2000–2001. On
September 14, 2001, the show became televised, expanding its reach
to cable and satellite viewers.
receives no corporate, government or
grants or funding, stating that the
independence of their programming would be undermined or otherwise
Funding for Democracy Now!
is primarily derived from
listeners, viewers, and foundations. In 2004, Ford Foundation
awarded a grant of US$
150,000 "to produce, broadcast and
distribute a series of radio, television and Internet reports on
the media reform movement in the United States." From 2001,
approximately US$350,000 in grant money was awarded by the Lannan Foundation
of the family of former
board member J. Peter Lannan.
is the flagship national program of the
network on which it
airs. It also airs on some NPR
and community radio
well as a few commercial stations (mostly those with a progressive talk radio
television simulcast airs on public access cable television
stations; on satellite via Free Speech
(channel 9415 on DISH Network
and Link TV
(channel 375 on DirecTV
, channel 9410 on DISH Network), and free-to-air
on C Band
is available over the Internet
, as both streaming audio
, and as a podcast
While covering the protests at the
2008 Republican National Convention
, several Democracy
members including Amy Goodman, two producers Sharif Abdel
Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, and videographer/filmmaker Elizabeth
Press were arrested by police on charges including probable cause
for riot while they were videotaping arrests by police outside a
house. Their press release calls the arrests of the producers
unlawful and "a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the
First Amendment rights."
Democracy Now! and its staff have
received dozens of journalism awards, including the Pinnacle Award
for 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.
Memorial's First Prize in International Radio for their 1993
report, Massacre: The Story of East Timor
first-hand coverage of genocide in East Timor.
On October 1, 2008, Goodman was
as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award
referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", in connection with
her years of work establishing Democracy Now!
as a major
force in alternative journalism.
Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates
- Mumia Abu-Jamal — 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.
- Tariq Ali and Christopher Hitchens — took opposing
sides in two debates over the Iraq War, in
December 4, 2003 and October 12, 2004.
- Jean-Bertrand Aristide — on March 16,
2004, the recently ousted Haitian President accused the United
States of kidnapping him and overthrowing the government of
- Lori Berenson —
Interviewed in 1999 in Peru by Amy Goodman; political activist arrested in 1995
on suspicion of 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
- Jimmy Carter —
Interviewed by Amy Goodman on 10 September 2007; former US President: author of
Palestine Peace Not
- Hugo Chávez,
Venezuela — Interviewed by Amy Goodman in September
- Noam Chomsky — A
regularly interviewed guest; MIT linguistics professor, political analyst, and
- Alan Dershowitz and Norman G. Finkelstein — Finkelstein is a
frequent guest. This was a much publicised 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.
- Michael Eric
Dyson — Regular guest; Georgetown professor, writer & radio host.
- Robert Fisk — Frequent guest;
prominent British journalist who currently serves as a Middle East correspondent for The Independent.
- Danny Glover —
Regular guest; American actor, film director, and political activist.
- 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
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
- Dennis Kucinich, Democratic
presidential candidate — Interviewed by Goodman and Gonzalez on
November 9, 2007.
- George McGovern, 1972 Democratic
presidential nominee — Interviewed by Goodman 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
- Evo Morales -
Interviewed on September 22, 2006; the president of Bolivia 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.
- Bill Moyers — Interviewed by Amy Goodman; former host of the
PBS show NOW
with Bill Moyers and currently the host of the PBS show
- Ralph Nader — A regularly
interviewed guest; consumer activist, corporate critic, author, and
former presidential candidate.
- Yoko Ono — Musician, peace activist and
widow of John Lennon. Interviewed by Amy Goodman on October 16,
- Greg Palast — Frequent guest;
US-born writer and investigative journalist for the
BBC and The
- Scott Ritter — Interviewed by Amy Goodman; former UN weapons inspector who disputed the
Bush administration's claims about weapons programs in
- Arundhati Roy —
Recurring guest; Indian writer,
anti-war activist, and leading figure in
- Edward Said — was a regular guest;
Columbia University professor,
literary critic and Palestinian activist and intellectual
- Manuel Zelaya —
multiple interviews with the ousted president of Honduras
- Howard Zinn — Interviewed by Amy Goodman; historian and activist;
author of several books, including A People's History of
the United States.
Criticisms from Guests
The White House press office had lined up a series of short,
routine, election-day interviews with local news outlets. But in
this interview, which extended to nearly 30 minutes, Clinton was
confronted with a series of pointed questions that compelled him to
defend his record on a wide array of issues, with Clinton at one
point complaining Goodman "asked questions in a hostile, combative
and even disrespectful tone."
- Lou Dobbs — In a December 4, 2007
interview Dobbs criticized Goodman and Gonzalez of not "do[ing]
representative journalism" when questioned about the validity of
the facts that he presents in his news casts pertaining to
immigration in the United States.
- 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.
- "Democracy Now! History in the Making", An article by Angela Alston
about the innovative distribution of the Democracy Now! TV show,
published in The Independent (June 2002).