Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman began her career
in community radio in 1985 at Pacifica Radio’s New York
Station, WBAI. She produced WBAI’s evening news for 10
In 1990 and 1991, Goodman traveled to East
Timor to report on the U.S.-backed Indonesian occupation of
East Timor. There,
and colleague Allan Nairn witnessed Indonesian soldiers gun
down 270 East Timorese. Indonesian soldiers beat them, fracturing
Nairn’s skull. Their documentary, Massacre: The Story
of East Timor won numerous awards.
The Indonesian military banned Goodman and
Nairn from returning to the country, and arrested them in 1994
as they attempted
entry. In 1999, Goodman was deported as she attempted to cover
in which East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence.
In May of 2002, Democracy Now! sent Goodman
back to East Timor to cover the founding of the new nation.
The five-day series, “From
Annihilation to a New Nation,” was the most comprehensive
coverage of East Timor’s transition to independence broadcast
in the United States.
In 1998, Goodman and producer Jeremy Scahill
went to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, to investigate
the activities of U.S. oil companies in the Niger Delta. The
radio documentary “Drilling
and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship” exposed
Chevron’s role in the killing of two Nigerian villagers
who were protesting yet another oil spill in their community.
The documentary won the 1998 George Polk Award.
The Democracy Now! team headed to Seattle
in November 1999 for an eight-day special on “The Battle
of Seattle,” documenting
the action in the streets and in the suites, and the explosion
of anti-corporate, anti-globalization activism onto the world
On Election Day 2000, Goodman and WBAI’s
Gonzalo Aburto conducted a memorable half-hour interview with
Bill Clinton. The two asked hard-hitting questions the president
wasn’t used to hearing. By the end, Clinton called Goodman “hostile,” “combative,” and “disrespectful.” Goodman
said she was just doing her job.
In late August 2001, Democracy Now! senior
producer Kris Abrams traveled to Durban, South Africa to cover
the United Nations
World Conference On Racism. With the U.S. corporate media making
little or no mention of the historic summit, Democracy Now!
broadcast a week of in-depth coverage; with the final broadcast
series interrupted by the attack on the World Trade Center
Sept. 11, 2001. Shortly after the attack, Democracy Now! began
simultaneously on radio and television every weekday.
When the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan,
the broadcast expanded to two hours, as it has now with the
invasion and occupation
of Iraq. Democracy Now! became an independent nonprofit organization
in June 2002. Today it is produced in New York's Chinatown,
just blocks from where the World Trade Center towers once stood.
Current co-host Juan Gonzalez has been a
columnist at the New York Daily News since 1988. He has won
numerous awards for
investigative reporting, including the George Polk Award in
1998, and he was
recently elected president of the National Association of Hispanic
Journalists. Gonzalez’ most recent book—Fallout:
The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse—documents
cover-ups by Environmental Protection Agency and other government
officials about health hazards at Ground Zero in New York.