Editor’s note: HPU alumna Gratia Bone, director of Community
Relations for ‘Olelo, sent us these stories about an
exciting news program that, if it is everything she says it
is, will be welcomed by journalist and concerned citizens everywhere.
Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning
news program airing on more than 140 stations in North America.
Now ‘Olelo Community Television joins them in pioneering
the largest public media collaboration in the United States.
Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now! began in 1996 as the
only daily election show in public broadcasting. Due to popular
demand, Democracy Now! continued beyond the presidential elections,
soon becoming Pacifica’s flagship news and public affairs
program. In 2000, Democracy Now! pioneered an unprecedented
multimedia collaboration involving nonprofit community radio,
satellite and cable television, and the Internet as it broadcast,
live two-hour daily specials at the Republican and Democratic
National Conventions, direct from the Independent Media Centers
in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Today, Democracy Now! brings
the voices of the streets to the airwaves, with on-the-ground
coverage from Washington to Prague, Quebec City to Porto Alegre,
In Hawai‘i, Democracy Now! is broadcast on Channel 56,
Monday through Friday nights at 10 pm. It recently launched
an expanded, two-hour “War and Peace Report” in
order to meet a growing demand for trustworthy, independent
news and information on the progress of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The report provides audiences access to people and perspectives
rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media, including
independent international journalists, ordinary people from
around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign
policy, grassroots leaders, peace activists, artists, academics,
and independent analysts.
The War and Peace Report also hosts real debates–debates
between people who substantially disagree, such as between
White House or Pentagon spokespeople on one hand, and grassroots
activists on the other.
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 in the United States.
The U.S. media was already fairly homogenous in the early ‘80s:
some 50 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.
Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from
listeners, viewers, and foundations, which allows it to maintain
The program is hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman
and Juan Gonzalez.