Every week, Truthdig recognizes an individual or group of people who spoke truth to power, blew the whistle or stood up in the face of injustice. You can see past winners here, and make your own nomination for our next awardee here.
Late Wednesday night, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, a man who had been on death row for 20 years for the murder of an off-duty police officer. Many people doubted Davis’ guilt after seven of nine witnesses in the case changed or recanted their testimony, and a number of people—from the pope and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to former President Jimmy Carter and an ex-FBI director—spoke out against executing a man who could very well be innocent. But as the Davis case held the world’s attention, the only news outlet to broadcast live continuously from the prison grounds on the night of his execution was “Democracy Now!” and its host and executive producer, Amy Goodman, our Truthdigger of the Week.
Goodman stood with protesters outside the execution chambers with camera and crew for what was intended to be a two-hour special but which ended up going for more than six hours. Goodman was there to capture the emotional moment when the crowd learned from NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous that the Supreme Court had issued a (very) temporary stay, and she stayed to interview person after person about any and all details of the night. Her broadcast made more information available to the world in real time than any other news source that night, and her poise and clear-headedness throughout the ordeal brought needed comfort to a distraught audience. For most people, as Truthdig reader Melissa said, “Amy Goodman’s coverage of the Troy Davis lynching brought the world the only live coverage [and] the only honest coverage. Her fierce dedication is deserving of any journalist award, if they indeed carry merit.”
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Egyptian blogger Mohamed Abdelfattah, who brought attention to the story of Khaled Said, a man brutally beaten and killed by Egyptian police officers in Alexandria in June 2010, was one of two recipients of Canada’s International Press Freedom Awards this week. He documented the public protests that rose in response to Said’s death, and helped discredit Egyptian authorities’ claim that Said had been a drug dealer. His work is thought to have contributed to bringing about the January revolution, which in turn gave life to the Arab Spring.
Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren made waves on the Internet this week when a video of a speech she gave in August in Andover, Mass., went viral. As Truthdig reader Jeff put it in nominating her, Warren “called out the GOP on their inane ‘class war[fare]’ rhetoric.” And while some have knocked Warren for her inexperience—this is her first-ever run for political office—her message on taxation has voters thinking she may be just what the doctor ordered. That message? “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.”
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Watch Amy Goodman in her “Democracy Now! Special Report from Troy Davis Execution: Did Georgia Kill an Innocent Man?” below:
Watch Elizabeth Warren’s August speech in Andover, Mass., below: