Amy Goodman is the co-founder, executive producer and host of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on more than 900 public broadcast stations in North America.
Goodman graduated from Harvard with a degree in anthropology in 1984. She began her career in community radio in 1985 at Pacifica Radio’s New York station, WBAI, where she produced WBAI’s Evening News for 10 years.
In 1991, Goodman traveled to East Timor to report on the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. There, she and colleague Allan Nairn witnessed Indonesian soldiers gun down 270 East Timorese men, women and children during a memorial procession. Indonesian soldiers savagely beat Goodman and Nairn, fracturing Nairn’s skull. Their documentary, “Massacre: The Story of East Timor” won numerous awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award, the Armstrong Award, the Radio/Television News Directors Award, as well as awards from the Associated Press, United Press International and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In 1996, Goodman helped launch Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now!. Two years later, Goodman and producer Jeremy Scahill went to Nigeria. Their award-winning radio documentary “Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship” exposed Chevron’s role in the killing of two Nigerian villagers in the Niger Delta, who were protesting yet another oil spill in their community. In 1999, Goodman traveled to Peru to interview American political prisoner Lori Berenson. It was the first time a journalist had ever gotten into the prison to speak to her.
In March 2004, Goodman obtained the international broadcast exclusive of the return of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from his imposed exile in the Central African Republic to Jamaica, accompanying the Aristides with the delegation that retrieved them. Her coverage of the Haitian story scored more than 3.5 million hits on Democracy Now!‘s Web site, ultimately forcing the story into the mainstream press in what Goodman describes as “trickle up” journalism.
In addition to writing her syndicated editorial column, Goodman is co-author, with her brother David Goodman, of the book Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders and the People Who Fight Back (Hyperion, 2006). The pair also co-wrote the national best-seller The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them. The book was chosen by independent bookstores as the No. 1 political title of the 2004 election season and ranked as one of the top 50 nonfiction books of 2004 by the editors of Publishers Weekly.
Goodman is the co-author of Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times, recently released in paperback. She was awarded the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, dubbed the “Alternative Nobel” prize, and received the award in the Swedish Parliament in December.