Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman

Goodman addresses the 2010 Chicago Green Festival.
Born (1957-04-13) April 13, 1957
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Show Democracy Now!
Station(s) 1357[1]
Network Pacifica Radio
Style Investigative journalism

Amy Goodman (born April 13, 1957) is an American broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter, and author. Goodman's investigative journalism career includes coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Chevron Corporation's role in Nigeria. Since 1996, Goodman has hosted Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the Internet. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas Merton Award in 2004, a Right Livelihood Award in 2008, and an Izzy Award in 2009 for "special achievement in independent media".

In 2012, Goodman received the Gandhi Peace Award for a "significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace". Goodman is the author of six books, including the 2012 The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope,[2] and the 2016 Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America.[3] In 2016, she was criminally charged in connection with her coverage of protests of the Bakken pipeline.[4] The charges, which were condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists, were dismissed on October 17, 2016.[5]

Early life

Amy Goodman was born on April 13, 1957, in Washington, D.C.[6] Her father, George Goodman, was an ophthalmologist, and her mother, Dorothy, a literature teacher, then social worker.[7] Goodman is from an Orthodox Jewish family; her maternal grandfather was an Orthodox Rabbi.[8][9] Raised in Bay Shore, New York, she graduated from Bay Shore High School in 1975, and from Radcliffe College in 1984, with a degree in anthropology.[10] Goodman spent a year studying at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.[11]

Investigative journalism career

Goodman speaking at Power to the Peaceful Festival, San Francisco 2004.

In 1991, covering the East Timor independence movement, Goodman and fellow journalist Allan Nairn reported that they were badly beaten by Indonesian soldiers after witnessing a mass killing of Timorese demonstrators in what became known as the Santa Cruz Massacre.[12]

In 1998, Goodman and journalist Jeremy Scahill documented Chevron Corporation's role in a confrontation between the Nigerian Army and villagers who had seized oil rigs and other equipment belonging to oil corporations. Two villagers were shot and killed during the standoff.[13] On May 28, 1998, the company provided helicopter transport to the Nigerian Navy and Mobile Police (MOPOL) to their Parabe oil platform, which had been occupied by villagers who accused the company of contaminating their land. Soon after landing, the Nigerian military shot and killed two of the protesters, Jola Ogungbeje and Aroleka Irowaninu, and wounded 11 others. Chevron spokesperson Sola Omole acknowledged that the company transported the troops, and that use of troops was at the request of Chevron's management. The documentary, Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, won the George Polk Award in 1998.

Michael Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, said, "She's not an editorialist. She sticks to the facts... She provides points of view that make you think, and she comes at it by saying: 'Who are we not hearing from in the traditional media?'"[14]

Democracy Now!

Main article: Democracy Now!

Goodman had been news director of Pacifica Radio station WBAI in New York City for over a decade when she co-founded Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report in 1996. Since then, Democracy Now! has been called "probably the most significant progressive news institution that has come around in some time" by professor and media critic Robert McChesney.[15]

In 2001, the show was temporarily pulled off the air, as a result of a conflict with a group of Pacifica Radio board members and Pacifica staff members and listeners. During that time, it moved to a converted firehouse from which it broadcast until November 13, 2009.[16] Democracy Now! subsequently moved to a studio located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.[17]

Goodman credits the program's success to the mainstream media organizations who leave "a huge niche" for Democracy Now![15]

When President Bill Clinton called WBAI on Election Day 2000[18] for a quick get-out-the-vote message, Goodman and WBAI's Gonzalo Aburto challenged him for 28 minutes with human rights questions about Leonard Peltier, racial profiling, the Iraq sanctions, Ralph Nader, the death penalty, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the normalization of relations with Cuba, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Clinton defended his administration's policies and charged Goodman with being "hostile and combative".[19]

Arrest at 2008 Republican Convention

During the 2008 Republican National Convention, several of Goodman's colleagues from Democracy Now! were arrested and detained by police while reporting on an anti-war protest outside the RNC.[20] While trying to ascertain the status of her colleagues, Goodman herself was arrested and held, accused of obstructing a legal process and interfering with a police officer,[21] while fellow Democracy Now! producers including reporter Sharif Abdel Kouddous were held on charges of probable cause for riot.[22] The arrests of the producers were videotaped.[23] Goodman and her colleagues were later released,[24] and City Attorney John Choi indicated that the charges would be dropped.[25] Goodman's (et al.) civil lawsuit against the St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments and the Secret Service resulted in a $100,000 settlement, as well as an agreement to educate officers in First Amendment rights of members of the press and public.[26][27][28]

Douglas border crossing incident

On November 25, 2009, Goodman was detained for approximately 90 minutes at the Douglas border crossing into Canada while en route to a scheduled meeting at the Vancouver Public Library.[29] During an interview of her and her colleagues, Immigration officials asked questions pertaining to their intended topics of discussion at the meeting. They wanted to know whether she would be speaking about the 2010 Olympic Games to be held in Canada.[30]

"I was completely surprised by what he was asking and did not know what he was getting at. I'm an anti-sports fan," she told a CBC Radio interviewer. "At Democracy Now!, we don't cover sports much."[30]

Goodman was eventually permitted to enter Canada after the customs authorities took four photographs of her and stapled a "control document" into her passport demanding that she leave Canada within 48 hours.[30][31] MSNBC's Keith Olbermann commented: "If you‘re that desperate to prevent criticism of some Olympic games, you shouldn‘t detain a noted commentator and write her scripts for her."[32]

Dave Zirin of the Huffington Post quotes Derrick O'Keefe, co-chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance, as saying: "It's pretty unlikely that the harassment of a well-known and respected journalist like Amy Goodman about whether she might be speaking about the Olympics was the initiative of one over-zealous, bad-apple Canadian border guard. This looks like a clear sign of the chill that the IOC and the Games' local corporate boosters want to put out against any potential dissent."[33]

North Dakota access pipeline protests

Goodman profiled with her hand on her chin
Goodman c. 2016

In September 2016, an arrest warrant had been issued by Ladd Erickson[34] for Goodman after she covered the Dakota Access Pipeline protests during which private security personnel unleashed[34][35] dogs and used pepper spray on protesters. She was facing riot charges[36] (the original charges were criminal trespass[36]) in Morton County, North Dakota.[35][37][38] An arrest warrant was reportedly also issued for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka.[35][37][38] Erickson, who is an attorney of the North Dakota Supreme Court,[39] believes Goodman acted as "a protester", not a journalist, because, "Everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions".[36]

On the October 13th broadcast of Democracy Now!, Goodman announced her intentions to turn herself in to the Morton County–Mandan Corrections Center on Monday, October 17, which she did. She stated that she would be fighting the charges against her as a "clear violation of the First Amendment".[40] The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement:

This arrest warrant is a transparent attempt to intimidate reporters from covering protests of significant public interest. [...] Authorities in North Dakota should stop embarrassing themselves, drop the charges against Amy Goodman, and ensure that all reporters are free to do their jobs.
Carlos Lauría, senior program coordinator for the Americas at CPJ, Committee to Protect Journalists (September 12, 2016)[41]

Steve Andrist, executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, also expressed concern that a journalist was one of only two people from the day in question wanted for arrest, with authorities saying she was selected because she is identifiable on the video footage.[42]

On October 17, 2016, the case was dismissed as District Judge John Grinsteiner did not find probable cause in a riot charge.[43][44][45] The charges against Goodman reportedly increased the public awareness on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.[46] Goodman had presented that day's Democracy Now! broadcast from in front of the Morton County Courthouse.[47] This is seen as part of attacks on journalistic freedom, Deia Schlosberg was arrested in similar circumstances while reporting on pipeline related protests.[48]


Democracy Now's Amy Goodman gives a keynote address at the 2013 National Conference for Media Reform in Denver, Colorado.

Goodman has received dozens[49] of awards for her work, including the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting (1993, with Allan Nairn)[50] and the George Polk Award (1998, with Jeremy Scahill).[51] In 1999, she declined to accept the Overseas Press Club Award, in protest of the group's pledge not to ask questions of keynote speaker Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and because the OPC was honoring Indonesia for their improved treatment of journalists despite the fact that its forces had recently beaten and killed reporters in occupied East Timor.[52]

On October 2, 2004, Goodman was presented the Islamic Community Award for Journalism by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.[53] On November 18, 2004, she was presented the Thomas Merton Award.[54] In 2006 she received the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship.[55]

Goodman was a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation cited her work in "developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media".[56]

On March 31, 2009, Goodman was the recipient, along with Glenn Greenwald, of the first Izzy Award (named after journalist I. F. "Izzy" Stone) for "special achievement in independent media". The award is presented by Ithaca College's Park Center for Independent Media.[57]

In May 2012, Goodman received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from DePauw University in recognition of her journalistic work.[58] She also received the Gandhi Peace Award from Promoting Enduring Peace, for a "significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace".[59][60]

On May 16, 2014, Goodman received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Purchase College, SUNY in recognition of her progressive journalism.

In February 2015, Goodman (along with Laura Poitras) received the 2014 I.F. Stone Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.[61]



In 2006, Goodman narrated the film One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern. Directed by Stephen Vittoria, the documentary chronicles the life and times of George McGovern, focusing on his failed 1972 bid for the presidency. The film features McGovern, Gloria Steinem, Gore Vidal, Warren Beatty, Howard Zinn, Ron Kovic, and Dick Gregory. The film won the Sarasota Film Festival's award for "Best Documentary Feature."

See also


  1. "Locate A Station". Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  2. 1 2 The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  3. Goodman, Amy; Goodman, David; Denis, Moynihan (April 12, 2016). Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America (1st ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 384. ISBN 978-1501123580.
  4. Grueskin, Caroline (October 13, 2016). "Defense attorney questions prosecutor in Amy Goodman case". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  5. Merlan, Anna. "Judge Rejects Proposed Riot Charges Against Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman". Jezebel. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  6. Goodman says she was born in Washington, D.C. at 29:05 in this video on YouTube.
  7. "Dorothy Goodman Obituary". October 2009. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  8. 'Opening the airwaves to voices not heard'. (May 28, 1998). Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  9. "Sonia Bock 1897–2005: Amy Goodman Remembers Her Grandmother, a Woman of Three Centuries", Amy Goodman & Juan González, Democracy Now!, October 10, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  10. Lamb, Brian (June 6, 2004). "The Exception to the Rulers". Booknotes. C-SPAn. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. "Amy Goodman To Speak At COA" Archived December 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. (September 13, 2008). Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  12. "Massacre: The Story of East Timor", Democracy Now!, November 12, 1997. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  13. "Drilling and Killing Archived August 5, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.: As President Bush Meets with the CEO of Chevron Texaco in Nigeria, a Look at Chevron’s Role in the Killing of Two Nigerian Villagers", Democracy Now!, July 11, 2003. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  14. Tanya Barrientos, "She’s taking the watchdog to task", Philadelphia Inquirer, May 13, 2004
  15. 1 2 Ratner, Lizzy (May 23, 2005). "Amy Goodman's 'Empire'". The Nation.
  16. Block, Jennifer. "A Dose of Democracy, Now: WBAI Listeners Get Their Station Back". Village Voice.
  17. Andy Worthington Archive for November 2009. Retrieved on March 23, 2013.
  18. Democracy Now! Exclusive Interview with President Bill Clinton, Democracy Now!, November 8, 2000. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  19. Bill Clinton Loses His Cool in Democracy Now! Interview on Everything But Monica, Democracy Now!, June 22, 2004. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  20. "Amy Goodman, Others Detained Outside RNC". The Nation. September 1, 2008. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  21. Garofoli, Joe (September 2, 2008). "Scenes from St. Paul – Democracy Now's Amy Goodman arrested". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 4, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  22. "Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman arrested at RNC protest". Minnesota Public Radio. September 1, 2008. Archived from the original on September 2, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  23. "Amy Goodman's Arrest + Press Conference asked about arrest". September 1, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  24. "Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC". Democracy Now!. September 1, 2008. Archived from the original (press release) on September 18, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  25. Williams, Chris (September 19, 2008). "No charges for reporters arrested in GOP protests". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved September 20, 2008.
  26. "Settlement Reached Over Arrest of Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! Producers at 2008 GOP Convention". Democracy Now!. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  27. Fung, Katherine (October 3, 2011). "Amy Goodman, 'Democracy Now!' Settle Lawsuit Over 2008 Republican National Convention Arrests". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  28. "Six-Figure Settlement Reached in Federal Lawsuit Challenging Police and Secret Service Crackdown on Democracy Now! Journalists". Center for Constitutional Rights. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  29. "Amy Goodman Detained at Canadian Border, Questioned About Speech…and 2010 Olympics", Democracy Now!, November 30, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  30. 1 2 3 Kathryn Gretzinger, Interview with Amy Goodman, CBC Early Edition, November 27, 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2009 (archived)
  31. Kathy Tomlinson, "US journalist grilled at Canada border crossing", CBC News, November 26, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  32. "'Countdown with Keith Olbermann', November 30, 2009". MSNBC. December 1, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  33. "Amy Goodman and Canada's Olympic Paranoia", Huffington Post, November 27, 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2009.
  34. 1 2 Taibbi, Matt (13 October 2016). "Taibbi on Amy Goodman Arrest for Covering Dakota Pipeline Story". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  35. 1 2 3 "Reporter & presidential candidate wanted for trespassing at pipeline protest". 10 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  36. 1 2 3 Ratner, Lizzy (October 15, 2016). "Amy Goodman Is Facing Prison for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All.". The Nation. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  37. 1 2 Dalrymple, Amy (September 10, 2016). "Reporter who documented guard dogs charged with trespassing at pipeline protest site". WDAZ. WDAZ and Forum Communications Company. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  38. 1 2 Bogle, Ariel (11 September 2016). "Arrest warrant issued for Amy Goodman after North Dakota protest coverage". Mashable. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  39. "Ladd Ronald Erickson". North Dakota Supreme Court. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  40. "MEDIA ADVISORY: Journalist Amy Goodman to Turn Herself in to North Dakota Authorities". Democracy Now!. October 13, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  41. "Arrest warrant for muckraking U.S. journalist - Committee to Protect Journalists". Committee to Protect Journalists. September 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  42. Grueskin, Caroling (September 12, 2016). "Charge against reporter 'raises a red flag'". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  43. Grueskin, Caroline (17 October 2016). "Protest winds down at Morton County Courthouse". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  44. Buncombe, Andrew; Garcia, Feliks (17 October 2016). "Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman 'rioting' charges rejected by judge after filming attack on Native American protesters". The Independent. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  45. Levin, Sam (17 October 2016). "Judge rejects riot charges for journalist Amy Goodman after oil pipeline protest". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  46. Hiltzik, Michael (17 October 2016). "N. Dakota charges reporter with 'riot' for covering protest--but gets slapped down by judge". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  47. "Amy Goodman Broadcasts from North Dakota Across from Court Where She Faces Riot Charge Today". Democracy Now!. October 17, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  48. Greenberg, Will (17 October 2016). "Judge Throws Out Charges Against Journalist Who Covered Dakota Access Pipeline". Mother Jones. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  49. Staff/Awards. Democracy Now!. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  50. "Robert F Kennedy Memorial: 25th Annual Journalism Awards". Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-14..
  51. George Polk Awards: Previous Winners. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  52. Pacifica Rejects Overseas Press Club Award Archived August 5, 2004, at the Wayback Machine., Democracy Now!, April 23, 1999. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  53. "CAIR Holds Its 10th Annual Banquet With Prominent Guest Speakers", Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2004, pp. 58–59. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  54. Thomas, Lillian (November 15, 2004). "Amy Goodman / Merton Award-winning talk show host prefers listening". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  55. Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, official website.
  56. Right Livelihood Award: 2008 – Amy Goodman. Retrieved on March 23, 2013.
  57. "Glenn Greenwald And Amy Goodman Share Inaugural Izzy Award For Independent Media". Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-12.. (April 3, 2009).
  58. Five Distinguished Individuals, Including Three Alumni, to Receive Honorary Doctorates in May. (March 16, 2012). Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  59. Amy Goodman keeps telling people they can make history in their community. (May 6, 2012). Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  60. "Gandhi Peace Award Presented to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!" (February 22, 1999). Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  61. "Amy Goodman Honored with I.F. Stone Journalism Award Along with Filmmaker Laura Poitras", February 6, 2015.
  62. "Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman To Write Weekly Newspaper Column" Archived January 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., King Features press release, October 24, 2006. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
  63. Goodman, Amy (April 12, 2016). Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America (1st ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 384. ISBN 978-1501123580.

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