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Democracy Now!

Democracy Now!
Genre News program, current affairs
Running time 60 minutes daily (M–F)
Country United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates Pacifica Radio
(1,250+ stations)[1]
Host(s) Amy Goodman
Juan Gonzalez
Producer(s) Mike Burke
Exec. producer(s) Amy Goodman
Recording studio New York City
Air dates since February 19, 1996 (1996-02-19)
Audio format Stereophonic sound
Opening theme "Need to Know" by Incognito
Ending theme "Kid You'll Move Mountains" by Manitoba
Website .orgdemocracynow
Podcast Audio

Democracy Now! is a daily nonprofit, independently syndicated news hour that airs[2] on more than 1,250 radio, television, satellite and cable TV networks around the globe.[3] The award-winning one-hour news program 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]


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


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.[6] It originally aired on five 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 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.[8]


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.[9][10] 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.[9]

In November 2009, Democracy Now! left their broadcast studio in the converted DCTV firehouse, where they had broadcast for eight years.[10] The studio subsequently moved to a repurposed graphic arts building in the Chelsea District of Manhattan.[10] In 2010, the new 8500-square-foot[11] Democracy Now! studio became the first radio or television studio in the nation to receive LEED Platinum certification,[12][13] the highest rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.


Democracy Now! is the flagship program of the Pacifica Radio network.[14] 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.[15] Democracy Now! is also available on the Internet as downloadable and streaming audio and video.[16] 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.

Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of two Nigerian villagers protesting an oil spill;[19] 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.[20]

On October 1, 2008, Goodman was named as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award,[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] All were held on charges of "probable cause for riot."[24] 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.[25]

Goodman, Salazar, and Kouddous subsequently filed a lawsuit against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as other defendants.[25] 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.[26]

Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates

See also


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  33. ^ "Bill Clinton Loses His Cool in Democracy Now! Interview...". Democracy Now!. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
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  37. ^ Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Effort to Impeach Vice President Cheney Still Alive.
  38. ^ Bolivian President Evo Morales on Latin America, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Role of the Indigenous People of Bolivia.
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  41. ^ Video on YouTube
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  50. ^ 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".
  51. ^ Exclusive: Aristide Talks With Democracy Now! About His Return to the Caribbean.
  52. ^ 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.
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  56. ^ a b Lori Berenson: MIT Graduate in Peruvian Prison.
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  76. ^ Tariq Ali v. Christopher Hitchens: A Debate on the U.S. War on Iraq, the Bush-Kerry Race and the Neo-Conservative Movement.
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External links

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