Democracy Now! Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America

Book Review 

Amy Goodman is the news anchor for my favorite independent news media, Democracy Now! The organization hosts an hour daily program concerning world events and social justice with a diverse array of progressive guests from around the world who share their opinions, collaborate and debate together. Goodman recently released a book, Democracy Now! Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, and I bought it right away.

Through the book, Amy chronicles the past twenty years of hosting the progressive news program. Her mission as a journalist is the cover the people being affected by the politics, not just the politicians themselves. And she also always gives a microphone to the protesters in the street who have something to share.

“Independent media is the oxygen of a democracy. It is not brought to you by the oil or gas or coal companies when we talk about climate change. It’s not brought to you by the weapons manufacturers when we talk about war and peace. It’s not brought to you by the insurance industry or big pharma when we talk about health care,” Goodman writes about 20 years of Democracy Now! 

Though this independent media collaboration is not paid for by corporate sponsors, their ability to air their content on radio and public television can still be censored. Goodman recounts Democracy Now!‘s beginning as a show, when the show was taken off the air by many supporters because it aired a commentary by Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther on death row.

“There’s a reason why our profession is the only one explicitly protected by the US Constitution: journalists are supposed to be the check and balance on power, not win popularity contests. The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of its prisoners. It’s the job of journalists to put our microphones between the bars and broadcast the voices of those inside,” Amy Goodman write in Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America.

The book goes on to cover the anti-war movement, whistleblowers, immigrant rights groups, the movement to abolish the death penalty, Occupy Wallstreet, climate justice, LGBTQA rights, the Black Lives Matter movement in a response to police brutality and white supremacist attacks and journalism’s effort to curb the America’s use of torture. Goodman has written a progressive’s manifesta for 2017. It’s a culmination of all movements that that have succeeded in the past 20 years and are still developing as well as the movements that need more attention.

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