Amy Goodman

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Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the producer and host of Democracy Now!, which she co-founded in 1966. She sees this program as way to give a voice to those "silenced by the corporate media."[1] and believes if it weren't for corporate sponsors promoting their own interests at the expense of everyday people, media could be "the greatest force for peace on earth" because of its ability to foster human understanding.[1]

Early Reporting

Bill Clinton Interview

In November 2000, then-president Bill Clinton called into Pacifica's La Nueva Alternativa in a get-out-the-vote effort for presidential hopeful Al Gore. Amy Goodman and La Nueva Alternativa host Gonzalo Aburto asked him several questions about his record. Goodman pressed Clinton on corporate control of both major political parties, granting clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, his hand in executing a murderer who became mentally ill after he committed the crime, the bombing of Puerto Rico, granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, sanctions against Iraq and Saddam Hussein, keeping the embargo on Cuba vs. lifting the embargo on China, the Israel-Palestine conflict, his perceived responsibility for pushing the Democratic party to the right, NAFTA, mass incarceration, and racial profiling.[2] Towards the end of the interview, Clinton got frustrated, saying "You have asked questions in a hostile, combative and even disrespectful tone... and you have never been able to combat the facts I have given you."[2] After the interview, Democracy Now! co-host Juan González remarked, "I don’t think he’s ever had that many tough questions in a row in all of the press conferences that he’s held in the White House and elsewhere over eight years."[2] Goodman responded by saying, "It’s what it sounds like when reporters refuse to go on bended knee before power."[2]

Nigerian Protestors Killed on Chevron Oil Platform

1n 1998, Goodman and Jeremy Scahill investigated the role of Chevron in the death of two protesters who had occupied an oil platform owned by the company. Goodman and Scahill adapted the investigation into a radio documentary called "Drilling and Killing: Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship".[3] In the documentary, the two journalists interview local witness and Chevron officials who describe the protests and subsequent events. The interviewees tell how after over one hundred Nigerian activists began protesting against environmental degradation and for community improvements, Chevron transported Nigerian paramilitary forces to the oil platform, where they shot two activists, injured several, and imprisoned and reportedly tortured eleven.[3] Goodman also interviewed two plaintiffs –activists who had occupied the oil platform– after they opened a legal case against Chevron[4] and again after they lost and the oil company was cleared of all wrongdoing.[5]

Santa Cruz Massacre in East Timor

In 1991, Goodman and Allan Nairn visited East Timor (now Timor-Leste) and saw a large, peaceful protest met with gunfire from the occupying, U.S.-armed Indonesian military, which left over 270 Timorese killed.[6][7] The killing would later be known as the "Santa Cruz Massacre".[8] Goodman and Nairn were badly beaten by the army and Nairn suffered a fractured skull from rifle butt wounds.[6][7] In a subsequent radio documentary released in 1992,[9] Goodman and Nairn described their time in the region as well as U.S. involvement in the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.[6][7] In 2002, the pair updated the documentary with video footage to compliment the audio.[10]

News and Controversy

Arrest at the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

While reporting on the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline (DAPL) protests, Goodman was arrested. When asked why her journalist status failed to protect her from arrest, the defending prosecutor claimed "She’s a protester, basically. Everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions"[11][12] The Nation pointed out that Goodman's coverage on the Dakota Access Pipeline represented one of the only media sources to cover this protest: "At the time, not a single one of the major American broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) had sent a reporter to cover the Standing Rock mobilization; none had even bothered to mention it on the air."[12] After Democracy Now!'s video of the protests went viral, mainstream media began airing the footage and talking to Goodman.[13] In a subsequent Cable News Network (CNN) interview, Goodman claimed her arrest represented a message to all journalists: "do not come to North Dakota."[13] Goodman's charges were changed from "criminal tresspass" to "rioting", then eventually dropped after a judge failed to find probable cause.[14]

Arrest at the 2008 Republican National Convention

At the 2008 Republican National Convention, Goodman was arrested after questioning why police had arrested two other Democracy Now! journalists covering related protests.[15] Goodman was cited for interference with a peace officer and obstruction of the legal process, while the other two journalists were cited for felony riot charges.[16] All three journalists later reached a settlement with the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis for $10,000.[16]


Goodman is the author of several books,[17] most recently Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, co-written with her brother, investigative journalist and author John Goodman as well as former Democracy Now! Special Projects Coordinator and founder of Free Speech TV Denis Moynihan.


2016, largely from coverage of Standing Rock Protests

  • New School's Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism (CPCJ) Award[18]
  • Prince Albert II of Monaco and UNCA Global Prize for coverage of climate change[19]
  • Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award from the New York Women in Film and Television's Muse Awards for Outstanding Vision and Achievement[20]
    Goodman speaking at the Muse Awards
  • inducted into Ithaca College's I.F. Stone Hall of Fame, where she joined Intercept co-founders Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill [21]




  • Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship, an award "given to an individual who has challenged the status quo through distinctive, courageous, imaginative and socially responsible work of significance." [24]


  • George Polk Award for radio reporting in 1999 for Jeremy Scahill's and her radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship.[25][26]


Amy Goodman, Executive Producer and Host of Democracy Now!
Phone, Democracy Now!: (212) 431-9090
Web Contact, "Democracy Now!": Contact
Facebook: /AmyGoodman.DemocracyNow
Twitter, "Democracy Now!": @DemocracyNow

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch

External Resources

Democracy Now! Web Exclusives

Other Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brian Stelter A Grass-Roots Newscast Gives a Voice to Struggles, "New York Times", accessed August 17, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Democracy Now!, Democracy Now! Exclusive Interview with President Bill Clinton, Democracy Now!, November 8, 2000, accessed September 26, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Democracy Now!, "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship", Democracy Now!, September 4, 2000, accessed September 25, 2019.
  4. Democracy Now!, "Drilling and Killing: Landmark Trial Against Chevron Begins Over Its Role in the Niger Delta", Democracy Now!, October 28, 2008, accessed September 25, 2019.
  5. Democracy Now!, "Chevron Cleared in 1998 Shooting Deaths of Protesters in Niger Delta", Democracy Now!, December 2, 2008, accessed September 25, 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Democracy Now!, "Massacre: The Story of East Timor", Democracy Now, January 28, 2008, accessed September 25, 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Democracy Now!, "East Timor Massacre Remembered: U.S.-Armed Indonesian Troops Kill 270 Timorese 20 Years Ago", Democracy Now, November 14, 2011, accessed September 25, 2019.
  8. Visit East Timor, Santa Cruz Massacre: The Day That Changed History of Timor-Leste, organizational website, accessed September 25, 2019.
  9. Democracy Now!, Massacre: The Story of East Timor, Democracy Now!, November 12, 1997, accessed September 25, 2019.
  10. Democracy Now!, [1], internet archive, May 16, 2002, accessed September 25, 2019.
  11. Matt Taibbi Journalist Amy Goodman Shouldn’t Be Arrested for Covering Dakota Pipeline Story, "Rolling Stone", accessed August 17, 2019.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Lizzy Ratner Amy Goodman Is Facing Jail Time for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All., "Nation", accessed August 17, 2019/
  13. 13.0 13.1 Alexandra King Journalist Amy Goodman says covering Standing Rock has been 'chilling', "CNN", accessed August 17, 2019.
  14. Sam Levin Judge rejects riot charges for journalist Amy Goodman after oil pipeline protest, "Guardian", accessed August 17,2019.
  15. Amy Goodman Amy Goodman & Two Democracy Now! Producers Arrested at RNC Protest, "Democracy Now!", accessed August 17, 2019.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Brady Gervais Settlement reached with journalists arrested during 2008 Republican National Convention, "Twin Cities Pioneer Press", accessed August 17, 2019.
  17. Goodreads Amy Goodman, "Goodreads", accessed August 17,2019.
  18. [2], "The New School", accessed August 17, 2019.
  19. [3], "UNCA", accessed August 17, 2019.
  20. [4], "NYWIFT", accessed August 17, 2019.
  21. [5], "Ithaca College", accessed August 17, 2019.
  22. [6], "Nieman Foundation", accessed August 17, 2019.
  23. [7], "Right Livelihood Award", accessed August 17, 2019.
  24. [8], Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship, accessed August 17, 2019.
  25. Democracy Now!, Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship, Democracy Now!, September 30, 1998, accessed September 3, 2019.
  26. George Polk Awards, Winners of George Polk Awards for Journalism, organizational website, March 10, 1999, accessed September 3, 2019.