Last week in Reinventing the News I introduced democracynow.org to my classmates.
Democracy Now! is this progressive radio show that started in February, 1996, in New York City where it continues to be broadcast from and old converted firehouse building in the Chinatown section of town owned by the Downtown Community TV Center. It's hosted by this lady from Maine, Amy Goodman, along with a dude named Juan Gonzlalez. Since its low budget inception, DN! has gone visual, as well as getting wired into college radio and NPR. Buttressing the over 700 stations that broadcast the show through radio and TV, Democracynow.org, was established in Sept. 1999. "It is definitely one of the major ways people get DN!" said Silky Shah, an outreach organizer for the program. The website offers all different file types for the radio and television version of the show. And DemocracyNow.org boasts that its DN!'s podcast is one of the most popular on the Web.
All the while DN! has prided itself on being "funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations," according to democracynow.org. It continues, "We do not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding. This allows us to maintain our independence." Goodman's tagline for the program is, "The Exception to the Rulers" and she often refers to her underlying agenda: "To go where the silence is." So what made me a little apprehensive about selecting this as a source of online news is that the site has zero interactive ability. Goodman maintains a weekly blog but doesn't offer the ability to shoot back with your own info and ideas.
But this doesn't make me skeptical about DN!s ability to remain in tune with silent majority in the world. I figure they probably just don't have the energy to deal with likely inundation of rightwing garbage and FBI COINTELPRO.
Where else can you get the truth about Afghanistan before the MSM really wakes up to it? Where else can you go for exclusive interviews on conspiracies to spy on military members and kill journalists in Iraq? Where else can you get a more objective view of U.S. relations with our Latin American amigos? Where else can you get an interview with a former U.S. president that scarifies with the politics of power to the people?
Photo (cc) of Democracy Now! headquarters, a.k.a. the fire house studio, seen above was taken by Mr. Jordan Lewin, of Vancouver, and republished here under Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.