Democracy Now!

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For other uses, see Democracy Now (disambiguation).
Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! logo.svg
Genre News program, current affairs
Running time 60 minutes daily (M–F)
Country United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates Pacifica Radio
Host(s) Amy Goodman
(principal host)
Juan Gonzalez
(frequent co-host)
Producer(s) Mike Burke
Exec. producer(s) Amy Goodman
Recording studio New York City
Air dates since February 19, 1996; 20 years ago (1996-02-19)
Audio format Stereophonic sound
Opening theme "Need to Know" by Incognito
Ending theme "Kid You'll Move Mountains" by Manitoba
Podcast Audio

Democracy Now! is an hour-long American TV, radio and internet news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.[1] The show, which airs live each weekday at 08:00 ET, is broadcast on the internet and by nearly 1,400 radio and television stations worldwide.[2]

The program combines news reporting, interviews, investigative journalism and political commentary with an eye toward documenting social movements, struggles for justice and the effects of American foreign policy. While described as progressive by fans as well as critics, the show's executive producer rejects that label, calling the program a global newscast that has "people speaking for themselves."[1]

Democracy Now Productions, the independent nonprofit organization which produces Democracy Now!, is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations and does not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting or government funding.[3]


The 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.[4] It originally aired on five Pacifica Radio stations.[1] Goodman is the program's principal host, with Juan Gonzalez as frequent co-host.[3] Jeremy Scahill, an investigative reporter for The Nation, has been a frequent contributor since 1997.[1]

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.[5]

In June of 2002, Democracy Now! separated with Pacifica Radio and became an independent nonprofit organization.


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.[6][7] 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.[6]

In November 2009, Democracy Now! left their broadcast studio in the converted DCTV firehouse, where they had broadcast for eight years.[7] The studio subsequently moved to a repurposed graphic arts building in the Chelsea District of Manhattan.[7] In 2010, the new 8500-square-foot[8] Democracy Now! studio became the first radio or television studio in the nation to receive LEED Platinum certification,[9][10] the highest rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.


Democracy Now! is the flagship program of the Pacifica Radio network.[11] 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.[12] Democracy Now! is also available on the Internet as downloadable and streaming audio and video.[13] In total, nearly 1,400 television and radio stations broadcast Democracy Now! worldwide.[2]

Awards and reaction[edit]

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[14]

Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television;[15] 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;[16] 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.[17]

On October 1, 2008, Goodman was named as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award,[18] in connection with her years of work establishing Democracy Now!.

2008 Republican National Convention arrests[edit]

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.[19] 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.[20] All were held on charges of "probable cause for riot."[21] 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.[22]

Goodman, Salazar, and Kouddous subsequently filed a lawsuit against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as other defendants.[22] 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.[23]

Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Stelter, Brian (October 23, 2011). "A Grass-Roots Newscast Gives a Voice to Struggles". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Democracy Now Stations". Democracy Now. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "About Democracy Now". Democracy Now. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ "The First Democracy Now! Show". Democracy Now!. Retrieved March 5, 2008. 
  5. ^ "History & Highlights". Democracy Now!. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Ratner, Lizzy (May 6, 2005). "Amy Goodman's 'Empire' How a prospective biochemist became a muckraker and champion of media reform". Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (November 13, 2009). "Farewell to the Firehouse: After 8 Years at Downtown Community Television Landmark, Democracy Now! Moves to New Home". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Democracy Now! Broadcast Studio Targeting LEED-CI Platinum at 207 West 25th Street". Green Buildings NYC. July 6, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ Holland, Ben (August 2010). "Democracy Now! Goes Green". Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ "LEED Certification—Democracy Now!". Energy Resource Solutions. 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "WBAI, New York – 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio – Democracy Now!". WBAI. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Satellite". Democracy Now!. Retrieved November 17, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Democracy Now! - Listen/Watch Today's Show". Democracy Now!. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ 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," 
  15. ^ "Amy Goodman Wins Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television". King Features. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Long Island University Announces Winners of 1998 George Polk Awards" (Press release). Long Island University. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "25th Annual Awards – 1993". Robert F Kennedy Memorial. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Amy Goodman". Right Livelihood Award. 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Amy Goodman, Others Detained Outside RNC". The Nation. September 1, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Democracy Now! Host and Producers Arrested At Republican Convention". The Washington Post. September 1, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman arrested at RNC protest". Minnesota Public Radio. September 1, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008. 
  22. ^ a b Karnowski, Steve (May 5, 2010). "Journalists file lawsuit in GOP convention arrests". Salon. Associated Press. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  23. ^ Nelson, Tim (October 3, 2011). "Radio host wins settlement against Twin Cities police". Minnesota Public Radio. 
  24. ^ Alan Dershowitz (May 14, 2007). "Taking the Bait". The New Republic. Retrieved June 24, 2007. 
  25. ^ Amy Goodman (September 24, 2007). "Alan Greenspan vs. Naomi Klein on the Iraq War, Bush's Tax Cuts, Economic Populism, Crony Capitalism and More". Democracy Now!. Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
    Greenspan, Alan; Goodman, Amy; Klein, Naomi (2007). Democracy Now! 9/24/07 (RealAudio) (Video). Pacifica Radio. Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  26. ^ Daniel Barlett, James Steele (October 2007). "Billions over Baghdad". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  27. ^ Amy Goodman (October 9, 2007). "Mr. Greenspan is Flat Wrong: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists Respond to Alan Greenspan's Claim that He Didn't Know about Federal Reserve's Role in Iraq's Missing Billions". Democracy Now!. Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Shows With Arundhati Roy". Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Democracy Now! Exclusive Interview with President Bill Clinton". Democracy Now!. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Bill Clinton Loses His Cool in Democracy Now! Interview...". Democracy Now!. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  31. ^ "Legendary Broadcaster Bill Moyers Returns to Airwaves With Critical Look at How U.S. News Media Helped Bush Admin Sell the Case for War". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Shows With Cornel West". Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Search". Democracy Now!. 
  34. ^ Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Effort to Impeach Vice President Cheney Still Alive.
  35. ^ Bolivian President Evo Morales on Latin America, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Role of the Indigenous People of Bolivia.
  36. ^ "Bolivian President Evo Morales on President Obama: "I Can't Believe a Black President Can Hold So Much Vengeance Against an Indian President". April 23, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Fmr. Presidential Candidate George McGovern on the 2008 Race and How He Helped Transform the Democratic Nominating Process". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  38. ^ Video on YouTube
  39. ^ "Interrogation of Helen Caldicott's Responses". George Monbiot. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  40. ^ Goodman, Amy (December 9, 2011). "Ex-Greek PM George Papandreou on Greece's Fiscal Crisis and Why He Backs Occupy Movement". Democracy Now! (Durban, South Africa). Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Search". Democracy Now!. 
  42. ^ "In Ohio, African-American Turnout Threatened by Reduced Early Voting and Faulty Ballots". Democracy Now!. 
  43. ^ "Greg Palast: "Mitt Romney's Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit"". Democracy Now!. 
  44. ^ "Reporter Greg Palast Exposes How U.S. "Vulture" Funds Make Millions by Exploiting African Nations". Democracy Now!. 
  45. ^ "A Journey Through American History with Howard Zinn". Democracy Now!. 
  46. ^ "Zinn". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  47. ^ Hugo Chavez: "If the Imperialist Government of the White House Dares to Invade Venezuela, the War of 100 Years Will be Unleashed in South America".
  48. ^ Exclusive: Aristide Talks With Democracy Now! About His Return to the Caribbean.
  49. ^ Fmr. President Jimmy Carter on "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Iraq, Greeting the Shah of Iran at the White House, Selling Weapons to Indonesia During the Occupation of East Timor, and More.
  50. ^ "Shows featuring John Pilger". Democracy Now!. 
  51. ^ "Search". Democracy Now!. 
  52. ^ "Search". Democracy Now!. 
  53. ^ a b Lori Berenson: MIT Graduate in Peruvian Prison.
  54. ^ "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Iran-Iraq Relations, Iran's Persecution of Gays and the Future of Israel-Palestine". Democracy Now!. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  55. ^ "Honduras Coup". Democracy Now!. 
  56. ^ "Matt Taibbi on How Wall Street Hedge Funds Are Looting the Pension Funds of Public Workers". Democracy Now!. 
  57. ^ "Matt Taibbi: "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" (Complete Interview)". Democracy Now!. 
  58. ^ "Covering Up Wall Street Crimes: Matt Taibbi Exposes How SEC Shredded Thousands of Investigations". Democracy Now!. 
  59. ^ "Michael Moore Calls for Renewed Pro-Democracy Movement as Anti-Union Bills Approved in Wisconsin and Michigan". Democracy Now!. Retrieved March 10, 2010. 
  60. ^ ""Here Comes Trouble": Michael Moore Tells The Formative Tales Behind His Filmmaking, Rabble-Rousing". Democracy Now!. Retrieved March 10, 2010. 
  61. ^ Marc Fisher (February 25, 1997). "Pacifica Stations Bolt Over Convicted Killer's Commentary". The Washington Post. 
  62. ^ "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. 
  63. ^ "Noam Chomsky". Democracy Now!. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  64. ^ "Oliver Stone on His Next Project, a Martin Luther King Jr. Biopic with Jamie Foxx". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  65. ^ "Oliver Stone on 50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination & the Untold History of the United States". Democracy Now!. November 5, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  66. ^ "Part 3: Oliver Stone on His Visit to Jeju Island, NSA Protests, Impact of Social Justice Movements". Democracy Now!. November 5, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  67. ^ "Search". Democracy Now!. 
  68. ^ "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. 
  69. ^ "Search". Democracy Now!. 
  70. ^ "Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Launches "Campaign to Close Guantánamo" for Obama's Last Year in Office". Retrieved January 22, 2016. 
  71. ^ "Scott Ritter on "Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change"". Democracy Now!. 
  72. ^ "Scott Ritter on "Target Iran: The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change"". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  73. ^ "Tariq Ali vs. Christopher Hitchens on the Occupation of Iraq: Postponed Liberation or Recolonisation?". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  74. ^ Tariq Ali v. Christopher Hitchens: A Debate on the U.S. War on Iraq, the Bush-Kerry Race and the Neo-Conservative Movement.
  75. ^ "Yemeni Activist Tawakkul Karman, First Female Arab Nobel Peace Laureate: A Nod for Arab Spring". Democracy Now!. 
  76. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Yoko Ono on the New Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, Art & Politics, the Peace Movement, Government Surveillance and the Murder of John Lennon". Democracy Now!. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 

External links[edit]