Amy Goodman: The Journalist and Activist

Amy Goodman, born on April 13, 1957, is an American journalist, broadcaster, columnist, investigative reporter, and author of Jewish-American heritage.

Throughout her career as an investigative journalist, Amy Goodman has delved into various critical issues, including the struggle for East Timor's independence and the involvement of the corporation "Chevron" in Nigeria.

Since 1996, Goodman has been hosting "Democracy Now!" – an independent international news program that airs daily through radio, television, and the internet worldwide. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas Merton Award in 2004 for her commitment to justice, the Right Livelihood Award in 2008, and the Izzy Award in 2009 for "special achievement in independent media."

In 2012, Amy Goodman was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award for her "significant contribution to the promotion of world peace." She is the author of six books, including "The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope" (2012) and "Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America" (2016). In 2016, she faced legal charges related to her coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned these accusations, and the charges against her were dropped on October 17, 2016.


Amy Goodman was born on April 13, 1957, in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Her parents were social activists, deeply involved in various causes. George Goodman was an ophthalmologist and a founding member of the local branch of "Physicians for Social Responsibility." Dorothy Goodman, a literature teacher turned social worker, was a co-founder of the local branch of "SANE/Freeze" – a peace advocacy group. One of Amy Goodman's siblings, David Goodman, is also an investigative journalist and has co-authored several books with her.

Amy Goodman was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. Her grandfather from her mother's side was an Orthodox rabbi. She grew up in Bay Shore, New York. Goodman completed her high school education in 1975 and is an alumna of the local high school. She holds an academic degree in anthropology from Radcliffe College, which she obtained in 1984. Goodman spent a year studying at Atlantic College in Wales.

In 1991, she covered the East Timor independence movement. Goodman and another journalist, Allan Nairn, were severely beaten by Indonesian soldiers after witnessing a mass killing of local civilians. This event later became known as the "Santa Cruz Massacre."

In 1998, Goodman and journalist Jeremy Scahill (who later co-founded "The Intercept" with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras) documented the involvement of the corporation "Chevron" in Nigeria. A violent confrontation erupted between the Nigerian military and villagers who had taken control of Chevron's oil drilling platforms and other equipment.

Two villagers were shot and killed during the takeover. On May 28, 1998, the company provided helicopter transportation for the Nigerian Air Force and Mobile Police to reach the Parabe oil platform, which had been occupied by villagers accusing the company of environmental pollution. Near the landing site, the Nigerian military opened fire, killing two protesters, Aroleka Irowaninu and Jola Ogungbeje, and injuring 11 others.

Chevron's spokesperson, Sola Omole, acknowledged the company's involvement in bringing in the security forces but claimed it was at the request of local authorities. The documentary "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship" received critical acclaim and awards.

Michael Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, described her as "not just a journalist but a nexus of facts... She provides points of view that make you think, and she does so by asking, 'Who are we not hearing from in the mainstream media?'"

Democracy Now!

For over a decade, Amy Goodman served as the news director of "WBAI," Pacifica Radio's New York station. In 1996, she co-founded "Democracy Now!," a news program she has been hosting since then. Robert McChesney, a communication professor and critic, hailed the program as "likely the most significant progressive news institution to emerge in many years."

In 2001, the program temporarily went off the air due to a conflict between the governance board of "Pacifica Radio" and the station's staff and listeners. From that year until November 13, 2009, "Democracy Now!" was broadcast from a building that had previously served as a firehouse. Subsequently, it relocated to a studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

"Democracy Now!" is an independent international news program that airs daily through radio, television, and the internet. The program is broadcast on over 1,400 radio and television stations worldwide. Goodman attributes the success of "Democracy Now!" to the support of community radio stations that provide "independent, unembedded news."

Arrest at the 2008 Republican National Convention

During the 2008 Republican National Convention, several members of Goodman's "Democracy Now!" team were detained and arrested by the police while covering anti-war protests outside the convention.

When Goodman attempted to inquire about the status of her fellow journalists, she herself was arrested and charged with misdemeanor obstruction of legal process and interference with a peace officer during the execution of their duties. Meanwhile, her colleagues, including the journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous, were detained on suspicion of "unlawful assembly."

The arrests of the producers were captured on video. Later, Goodman and her colleagues were released to resume their work. The city attorney of St. Paul, John Choi, noted that the charges against them were dismissed.

A civil lawsuit filed by Goodman (and others) against the law enforcement agencies and the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis resulted in a $100,000 settlement. Additionally, the local authorities agreed to provide training to police officers regarding the rights of journalists and the public under the First Amendment.

Incident at the Douglas Border Crossing

On November 25, 2009, Amy Goodman was detained for approximately 90 seconds at the Douglas border crossing between the United States and Canada while en route to a scheduled speaking engagement at the Vancouver Public Library. Border officials questioned her about the topics she intended to discuss during her presentation, particularly whether she planned to talk about the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Eventually, she was allowed entry into Canada after customs officials photographed her and stamped her passport with a "Controlled Document – Admission Authorized" visa. They also instructed her to leave Canada within 48 hours.

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