About Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television (DISH network: Free Speech TV ch. 9415 and Link TV ch. 9410; DIRECTV: Free Speech TV ch. 348 and Link TV ch. 375); and on the internet. DN!’s podcast is one of the most popular on the web.
Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other.
New stations are adding Democracy Now! to their programming schedules all the time, and there are several movements going on around the country right now to bring Democracy Now! to new communities. To find out more about these efforts, and how to get involved, click here.
WHY INDEPENDENT MEDIA?
For true democracy to work, people need easy access to independent, diverse sources of news and information.
But the last two decades have seen unprecedented corporate media consolidation. The U.S. media was already fairly homogeneous in the early 1980s: some fifty media conglomerates dominated all media outlets, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, music, publishing and film. In the year 2000, just six corporations dominated the U.S. media.
In addition, corporate media outlets in the U.S. are legally responsible to their shareholders to maximize profits.
Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. We do not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding. This allows us to maintain our independence.
Amy Goodman | Host and Executive Producer
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,300 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard honored Goodman with the 2014 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' for “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.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone. The Independent of London called Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! "an inspiration." PULSE named her one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.
Goodman has co-authored five New York Times bestsellers. Her latest two, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope, and Breaking the Sound Barrier, both written with Denis Moynihan, give voice to the many ordinary people standing up to corporate and government power. She co-authored her first three bestsellers with her brother, journalist David Goodman: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times (2008), Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back (2006) and The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (2004). She co-writes a weekly column with Denis Moynihan (also produced as an audio podcast) syndicated by King Features, for which she was recognized in 2007 with the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Reporting.
Goodman has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria has won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award. She has also received awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Project Censored. Goodman received the first ever Communication for Peace Award from the World Association for Christian Communication. She was also honored by the National Council of Teachers of English with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.
Juan González | Co-Host
Juan González has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years and a staff columnist at the New York Daily News since 1987. He is a two-time recipient of the George Polk Award for commentary (1998 and 2010), and the first reporter in New York City to consistently expose the health effects arising from the September 11, 2001 attacks and the cover-up of these hazards by government officials.
He is a founder and past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and a member of NAHJ’s Hall of Fame. During his term as NAHJ president, González created the Parity Project, an innovative program that creates partnerships between local communities and media organizations to improve coverage of the Latino community and recruit and retain more Hispanic journalists. He also spearheaded a movement among U.S. journalists to join other citizen groups in opposing the Federal Communications Commission’s deregulation of media ownership restrictions.
A founding member of the Young Lords Party in the 1970s and of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights in 1980s, González has twice been named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the country’s most influential Hispanics and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Puerto Rican Coalition.
González has written four books: Fallout: The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse, documents cover-ups by Environmental Protection Agency and government officials with regard to health hazards at Ground Zero in New York; Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America; and Roll Down Your Window: Stories of a Forgotten America. His latest book, News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media, co-authored with Joseph Torres, is a landmark narrative history of American media that puts race at the center of the story.
Sharif Abdel Kouddous | Correspondent
Sharif joined the Democracy Now! staff as a producer in 2003. Since then, he has covered news stories around the world, including reporting from Baghdad during the Iraq war, New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Haiti in the days after the January 2010 earthquake as well as the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2004 and 2008. Sharif grew up in Cairo, Egypt.
Sam Alcoff | Producer
Sam has been working in independent New York media for ten years. Prior to joining Democracy Now!, Sam worked with Deep Dish TV, New York City’s Independent Media Center’s IndyVideo, and was the director of GRITtv with Laura Flanders. In his free time, Sam enjoys reading social movement histories, creating activist internet resources, and butchering Spanish (the language, not the people). He lives in Brooklyn with his partner Anna and their beautiful children, Arthur and Nina.
Mike Burke | Producer
Mike is the longest-standing producer at Democracy Now! In addition to his work on the show he helped found The Indypendent a monthly social and economic justice newspaper based in New York.
Julie Crosby | General Manager
Julie joined Democracy Now! in 2006. From 2003 to 2006 she worked at Free Speech TV, a national progressive television network that broadcasts Democracy Now! along with an array of social justice oriented documentaries and series. Julie’s commitment to media movements emerged in 2001 when she volunteered with Access to Media Education Society, a youth oriented media justice organization based on Galiano Island, BC. In 2000 Julie spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar researching popular political culture in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Simin Farkhondeh | Education Director
Simin Farkhondeh is an award-winning filmmaker, educator, artist and activist. As a professor of Film, Video Arts and Communications Theory, she has taught at numerous colleges and universities including Hampshire College, Fordham University and the School of Visual Arts. As a filmmaker, her work has appeared on PBS, at the Whitney Museum, and the Margaret Mead Film Festival. Simin was co-director of the Deep Dish TV Series, Gulf Crisis TV Project, and director of the acclaimed monthly TV series Labor at the Crossroads (LABOR X). Third World Newsreel and Arab Film Distribution distribute her personal work.
Renée Feltz | News Producer
Renée Feltz became a Democracy Now! producer in February 2011. She first honed her reporting skills as co-founder of the Houston Independent Media Center, and the News Department at Pacifica radio station KPFT-FM in Houston, Texas, where she was News Director from 2002-2006. While at KPFT she interviewed many men and women on death row, and covered Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. As a 2010 Soros Justice media fellow she co-produced DeportationNation.org with Stokely Baksh about the now-ended Secure Communities program. The two also worked together on the Webby-nominated BusinessofDetention.com. Renée graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2008 with a focus on investigative reporting. She has also reported with The New York Times investigative unit, where she worked on a Pulitzer-nominated series about the 2008 financial meltdown, and was a multimedia producer for PBS Wide Angle. Her cover story for The Texas Observer about how Texas used junk science to execute mentally challenged prisoners was a 2010 IRE Award finalist. Renée enjoys teaching and has been an instructor with People’s Production House, and is an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College.
Deena Guzder | News Producer
Deena Guzder has reported on human rights across the globe. Her work has appeared in Time, Mother Jones, Common Dreams, National Geographic, Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, and elsewhere. She holds a BA in Peace & Conflict Studies from Oberlin College as well as advanced degrees in journalism and international affairs from Columbia University. She is the author of the book Divine Rebels, which profiles the Religious Left in the United States. In 2010, she traveled with the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, His Eminence Shyalpa Rinpoche, across Nepal and Bhutan while editing his collection of oral teachings, Living Fully. And, she previously assisted Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges with research for his book, Death of the Liberal Class.
Clara Ibarra | Demoncracy Now! en Español
Clara Ibarra earned her degrees in Political Science and Economics in her hometown, Bogotá, Colombia where she worked as a research assistant in projects that use images as sources of investigation for the writing of social history. She came to NYC in 2006 to pursue a MA in Media Studies, since then she has been working in the production of multimedia endeavors that involve education and the telling of stories. Currently she is coordinating the Spanish programing at Democracy Now!, working with the media outlets that broadcast or publish Democracy Now! en Español around the world. Clara is interested in story telling projects to connect and empower people through a more social use of media.
Angie Karran | Station Relations
Angie is a former DN! producer and award-winning radio and documentary video producer. Her radio programs have been aired on the Pacifica Network and on community radio stations around the country. She studied sociology and has worked in media education, research and activism. Angie is from Guyana, South America and has three children.
Robby Karran | TV Producer
Robby is part of Democracy Now!’s TV Production unit, editing long form pieces and clips for broadcast. Robby also works with the archive, where he helps to watch,listen, record and catalog the contents of our video and audio collection. Robby is certified in the IT field as a PC Technician and a Network Administrator.
Amy Littlefield | Producer
Amy Littlefield joined Democracy Now!’s news production team in January 2012. Prior to that she worked as a reproductive health counselor and reported for various newspapers including the Los Angeles Times. She was a staff reporter at The Enterprise newspaper in Brockton, Massachusetts, where her series on nepotism in city government won a first-place award for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Amy is a former senior editor of the feminist blog Gender Across Borders and a graduate of Brown University.
Steve Martinez | TV Producer
Born in New York City, Steve’s career began back in the boys’ chorus of the NY Metropolitan Opera. While recording a commercial voiceover, he became fascinated with life “behind-the-scenes.” Steve was twice awarded scholarships to Stagedoor Manor, noted training center for aspiring young artists. He studied Communications at Northeastern University and Creative Writing at Harvard. He has been a lifelong activist in political and social causes. Steve has worked professionally as an Avid editor, producer and director on a number of independent productions. He lives in NJ with his wife Sofia and their three sons.
Aaron Maté | Producer
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Aaron comes to Democracy Now! after a two-year stint as an independent journalist and as a researcher for the author and journalist Naomi Klein. Through his work as a journalist and activist, he has had the opportunity to visit the Occupied Territories, Haiti, and South Africa. His writings have appeared in publications including the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and the Guardian of London. Aaron received his B.A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University in Montreal. He is a regular contributor to the Montreal/San Francisco-based magazine Warrior.
Brenda Murad | Director of Development
Brenda joined Democracy Now! to help produce the 2008 capital campaign gala featuring Willie Nelson and Jackson Browne and has focused on Individual Giving. A graduate of NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Brenda served as the Director of Grants Management at the Open Society Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Isis Phillips | Financial Manager
A BFA graduate of Marymount College, Isis has a passion for art and has photographed extensively in New York City and around the world. Isis was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Marangoni Studio in Florence, Italy. Her combined interest in economics, art and activism has led to her current position as the Financial Director at Democracy Now! In addition to her recent work as the photographer of "One Day in the Life of Democracy Now!" in Clamor Magazine (May/June 2004, Issue 26) and as curator of the Independent Media Photojournalism Exhibition at Gigantic Artspace (August 2004), Isis’s work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions.
Nermeen Shaikh | Producer
Prior to joining Democracy Now!, Nermeen worked in various non-profit organizations including the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Islamabad, the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, and the Asia Society in New York. She also worked briefly at Al Jazeera English in Washington, DC. She has an M.Phil. in politics from Cambridge University, and is the author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power published by Columbia University Press. She currently serves on the editorial board of the Rome-based journal Development.
Neil Shibata | Volunteer Coordinator
Neil read some words in French and wrote about them and received a degree in French Literature from UC Berkeley, with a detour at Université Lumière Lyon II, Institut d’Études Politiques. He recently relocated to New York from Oakland, California, where he spent the preceding eight years as a litigation paralegal, working for victims of corporations that place(d) profit before the safety and health of its workers and the public. Neil is an associate editor of Tokyo-based music magazine Beikoku-Ongaku.
Brendan Allen | Archivist
Brendan manages the Archives for Democracy Now! He attended the School of Visual Arts and received a BA in English Literature and Media Studies from the University of New Mexico. He worked as a video librarian for Black Entertainment Television in 1998 and then moved to Public Broadcasting Service in Alexandria, VA, where he worked as the library media coordinator. In 2006, Brendan earned a Master’s in Library Information Science at Pratt Institute, while working as the Senior Archivist for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in New York City.