Amy Goodman

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Posted by kaori 05/01/2009 @ 02:10

Tags : amy goodman, political commentators, politics

News headlines
AMA Opposition to Obama Public Health Plan Echoes Group's Decades ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, President Obama is scheduled to address the American Medical Association, the nation's largest doctors' group with a quarter of a million members. They have expressed strong opposition to a government-run plan....
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Nurses Union Leader Rose Ann DeMoro Urge ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: Today, we look at healthcare. Democratic lawmakers are close to unveiling new legislation on healthcare reform they hope to pass before the August recess. On Monday, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Charles Rangel said Democratic...
Longtime White Supremacist Opens Fire at DC Holocaust Museum ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: Wednesday was not James von Brunn's first run-in with the law. Police said he was a longtime white supremacist and anti-Semite. In 1981, he was arrested after entering the headquarters of the Federal Reserve, armed with a revolver and a...
“Anti-Abortion Violence and Terrorism Has to Stop”–One of Last ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: The family of Dr. George Tiller announced Tuesday that his Wichita clinic will be permanently closed, eliminating one of the few medical practices in the country that performed later-term abortions. In a statement, Dr. Tiller's family said...
As Tensions Flare in Peruvian Amazon, Award-Winning Actor Q ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: Peruvian indigenous leader Alberto Pizango has been granted asylum in Nicaragua after an arrest warrant was issued in his name on charges of sedition, conspiracy and rebellion following clashes between Amazonian Indians and Peruvian riot...
New York Legislature in Gridlock as Democratic Defections Give ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: Juan, you had an interesting column in the New York Daily News about New York politics in the Capitol in Albany, a big shift. JUAN GONZALEZ: Yeah. We have a major problem now in Albany. In the State Capitol, there's total paralysis,...
Hungry for a Better Education: Teachers, Parents Lead Hunger ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: As we wrap up, we remain in Los Angeles. We turn to the public school system there, the second-largest school district in the country, which is facing an uphill battle against budget cuts. After months of protests, two weeks ago teachers,...
Letter from Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about Pacifica and WBAI - Bay Area Indymedia
by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (via list) A governance structure that was meant to assure greater democracy turned out to breed greater factionalism. Many station managers and executives found it impossible to manage while they answered to daily...
Peruvian Police Accused of Massacring Indigenous Protesters in ... - Democracy Now
AMY GOODMAN: Dozens of people are estimated to have been killed in clashes between police and indigenous activists protesting oil and mining projects in the northern Peruvian Amazonian province of Bagua. Peruvian authorities have declared a military...
Hit lists, 24-hour protection and bullet-proof windows - Examiner.com
He joined Amy Goodman on Democracy Now and told some serious truth in that interview... He points out that the mafia (unlike the anti-choice / domestic terrorist movement) at least keeps their hit lists private. He also calls this movement the face of...

Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman.jpg

Amy Goodman (born April 13, 1957) is a United States broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist and author.

A 1984 graduate of Harvard University, Goodman is best known as the principal host of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! program, where she has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "radio's voice of the disenfranchised left".

Coverage of the peace and human rights movements — and support of the independent media — are the hallmarks of her work. As an investigative journalist, she has received acclaim for exposés of human rights violations in East Timor and Nigeria. Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award.

Goodman had been news director of Pacifica Radio station WBAI-FM in New York City for over a decade when she co-founded Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report in 1996. Since then, Democracy Now! has been called "probably the most significant progressive news institution that has come around in some time" by professor and media critic Robert McChesney.

In 2001, the show was temporarily pulled off the air, as a result of a conflict with a group of Pacifica Radio board members and Pacifica staff members and listeners. During that time, it moved to a converted firehouse where it continues to broadcast today.

When President Bill Clinton called WBAI on Election Day, 2000, for a quick get-out-the-vote message, Goodman and Gonzalo Aburto challenged him for 28 minutes with questions about Leonard Peltier, racial profiling, the Iraq sanctions, Ralph Nader, the death penalty, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Clinton defended Democratic policies against criticism, but charged Goodman with being "hostile, combative, and even disrespectful".

In 1991, covering the independence movement in East Timor, Goodman and fellow journalist Allan Nairn were badly beaten by Indonesian soldiers after they witnessed a mass killing of Timorese demonstrators in what became known as the Dili Massacre. She has speculated that the only thing that spared her the fate of the Australian-based journalists who were killed in East Timor in 1975 was an American passport; the United States was providing military support to the Indonesian army at the time. The U.S. did not cut off military aid to Indonesia until 1993.

In 1998, Goodman and journalist Jeremy Scahill documented Chevron Corporation's role in a confrontation between the Nigerian Army and villagers who had seized oil rigs and other equipment belonging to oil corporations. "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship". Two villagers were shot and killed during the standoff. On May 28, 1998 the company provided helicopter transport to the Nigerian Navy and Mobile Police (MOPOL) to their Parabe oil platform which had been occupied by villagers who accused the company of contaminating their land. Soon after landing, the Nigerian military shot and killed two of the protesters, Jola Ogungbeje and Aroleka Irowaninu, and wounded 11 others. Chevron spokesperson Sola Omole acknowledged that the company transported the troops, and that use of troops was at the request of Chevron's management. The documentary won the George Polk Award in 1998.

During the 2008 Republican National Convention, several of Goodman's colleagues from Democracy Now! were arrested and detained by police while reporting on an anti-war protest outside the RNC. While trying to ascertain the status of her colleagues, Goodman herself was arrested and held, accused of "obstruct a legal process" and "interfer with a peace officer", while fellow Democracy Now! producers were held on charges of probable cause for riot. The arrests of the producers were videotaped and have been criticized as unlawful and a violation of the freedom of the press. Goodman and her colleagues were later released, but as of September 2008 they still face charges stemming from their arrests, although City Attorney John Choi has indicated that the charges will be dropped.

In 2004 Goodman published her first book, a New York Times bestseller, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (ISBN 1-4013-0799-X), co-written with her brother, Mother Jones reporter David Goodman.

Their second book, published in August 2006, is entitled, Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People who Fight Back (ISBN 1-4013-0293-9). She appeared on the Colbert Report on Thursday October 5, 2006 to promote the book. Their third book, Standing up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times (ISBN 1-4013-2288-3), which details the capabilities of ordinary citizens to enact change, was released on April 8, 2008.

Goodman has received dozens of awards for her work, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the George Polk Award. In 2001, she declined to accept the Overseas Press Club Award, in protest of the group's pledge not to ask questions of keynote speaker Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and because the OPC was honouring Indonesia for their improved treatment of journalists despite the fact that they had recently beaten and killed reporters in occupied East Timor.

On October 1, 2008, Goodman was named as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize" — the first journalist to be so honored. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation cited her work in "developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media." The prize was awarded in the Swedish Parliament on December 8, 2008.

On March 31, 2009, Goodman was the recipient (along with Glenn Greenwald) of the first Izzy Awards for independent media, named after legendary journalist I. F. Stone. The award is presented by Ithaca College's Park Center for Independent Media.

Goodman describes herself as a secular Jew, a Jewish American, and the granddaughter of an Orthodox rabbi. She has relatives who died in the Holocaust and spent part of her youth in Israel.

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The Current (radio program)

The Current is a current affairs radio program hosted by investigative reporter Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC Radio One. It airs weekdays starting at 8:37 a.m. local time.

On Fridays, a guest host is used for the broadcast, who is introduced on the preceding Thursday to read listener correspondence with Tremonti. Guest hosts are usually CBC personalities such as Maureen Taylor, Adrienne Arsenault, Nancy Wilson, Erica Johnson and Anthony Germain, although other Canadian journalists, including Haroon Siddiqui and David Frum, have also appeared. In 2005, the program also did a one-off joint broadcast with the American radio program Democracy Now!, with Amy Goodman acting as the guest host of The Current.

Although primarily a serious news program, The Current has traditionally begun each show with a brief satirical commentary by a character credited only as The Voice. Long thought to be played by a CBC producer, it has recently been revealed that The Voice is in fact played by Canadian actor Stevan Hart.

The Voice has also announced fictional advertisements for the "Ambiguous Party", a fictional political party. A few campaign ads were created and aired for morning show listeners' amusement in which The Voice tried to persuade listeners to vote for the Ambiguous Party. Comparisons are made between the Ambiguous Party (complete and utter fence-sitters on all issues) and the current parties of the day.

On all weekdays except Monday, one segment from The Current is repeated in the evening on The Review.

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CUNY TV

CUNY TV (CUNY; acronym pronounced /ˈkjuːni/) is a non-commercial cable station in New York City, part of The City University of New York's university system. It provides tele-course programming varying from mathematics, physics and biology to history, art and social studies. It also provides cultural programming with shows in German, Spanish and French. The station re-broadcasts Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! twice a day, as well as daily world news in English from Deutsche Welle. In addition CUNY TV airs a weekly foreign film showcase City Cinematheque hosted by CUNY Professor Jerry Carlson.

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Dershowitz–Finkelstein affair

The Dershowitz-Finkelstein affair was a public controversy involving academics Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein and their scholarship on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in 2005.

Shortly after the publication of the book The Case for Israel, by Alan Dershowitz, Norman Finkelstein alleged that it was "a collection of fraud, falsification, plagiarism and nonsense". Finkelstein charged that Dershowitz had engaged in plagiarism in his use of Joan Peters' book From Time Immemorial. Finkelstein expanded his claims in a book entitled Beyond Chutzpah and has received support from some other academics. Dershowitz has denied the charges. Former Harvard president Derek Bok, following a review requested by Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan, determined that no plagiarism had occurred.

In Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, published by University of California Press on August 28, 2005, Norman Finkelstein attempted to debunk The Case for Israel. Dershowitz had written letters to both the New Press and to the University of California Press, to prevent its publication, claiming it contained massive libel and stating that the book should not be published. Dershowitz also asked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to intervene in order to prevent the University of California Press from publishing the book. Schwarzenegger's legal advisor responded, however, that the governor would not intervene in issues of academic freedom. Dershowitz responded in his book The Case for Peace and alleged a politically motivated campaign of vilification spearheaded by Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, and Alexander Cockburn against several pro-Israel academics.

The bulk of Beyond Chutzpah consisted of an essay critiquing the "new antisemitism" and longer chapters contrasting Dershowitz's arguments in The Case for Israel with the findings of mainstream human rights organisations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, asserting that Dershowitz had lied, misrepresented and fabricated many of his points in order to protect Israel and hide its record of alleged human rights violations.. Finkelstein has maintained that "the real issue is Israel's human rights record".

In addition, Finkelstein provided what he claimed is evidence of plagiarism in instances where Dershowitz reproduced the exact errors found in Peters' citation of original sources, and thus argues that Dershowitz did not check the original sources he cited, a claim that Dershowitz adamantly denied.

Finkelstein noted that in twenty instances that all occur within about as many pages, Dershowitz's used some of the same words from the same sources that Joan Peters used, largely in the same order. Several paragraph-long quotations that the two books share have ellipses in the same position, Finkelstein pointed out; in one instance, he claimed, Dershowitz refers to the same page number as Peters, although he is citing a different (1996) edition of the same source, in which the words appear on a different page.

Noting his perception of Dershowitz's lack of knowledge about specific contents of his own book during an interview of the two men by Amy Goodman broadcast on Democracy Now!, Finkelstein also charged that Dershowitz could not have written the book and may not have even read it. Later, he cited such allegedly "unserious" references as the Sony Pictures website for Kevin Macdonald's documentary film One Day in September and an online high-school syllabus from "Teaching the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Unit for High School Students," by Ronald Stockton, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan–Dearborn in criticism of the book.

Dershowitz threatened to bring a legal action against the University of California Press in response to the charges in Finkelstein's book. Dershowitz claims to have written every word of "The Case for Israel" by hand and to have sent UCP his handwritten manuscript. He says there is not a single phrase or sentence in it that was "plagiarized" and accuses Finkelstein of knowing this, making the charges in order to garner publicity. Dershowitz offered to produce his handwritten drafts (he does not type) to debunk the claim that The Case for Israel was ghostwritten and claims Finkelstein has not asked to see them. Finkelstein claims to have asked for the drafts and that Dershowitz's has not produced them.

Dershowitz's recent book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, The Case for Peace, contains a chapter rebutting Finkelstein's charges, which Dershowitz has made available on his web site.

In response to the general charge of plagiarism, Dershowitz had characterized the excerpts as quotations that historians and scholars of the region cite routinely, such as Mark Twain and the reports of government commissions.

Finkelstein's conclusion from the passages that he cited is that Dershowitz did not research his sources directly, but instead in twenty instances had used Peters' book without crediting her.

Finkelstein argued that he has found a mis-attribution that he says supports his conclusion. He asserted that, in his book, Dershowitz attributes an Orwellian neologism to Orwell himself, when actually Peters coined it in her book in an allusion to Orwell, in which she mentioned him by name: her neologism "turnspeak" alluded to Orwell's famous Newspeak in his novel 1984. This alleged mistake by Dershowitz, Finkelstein argued, fits a pattern of cribbing from Peters while not crediting her. Academic propriety demands that she be credited, he argued.

I will no longer participate in this transparent ploy to gather media attention for Finkelstein and his publisher. I answer all of his charges fully in Chapter 16 of my forthcoming book The Case For Peace, to be published by Wiley in August. My book deals with important and current issues, such as the prospects for peace in the immediate future. Finkelstein’s deals with the irrelevant past that both Israelis and Palestinians are trying to put behind them. Let the marketplace judge our books. As far as I’m concerned, the public controversy is over and I will comment no further on the false charges leveled by Finkelstein and the UCP. Let them henceforth pay for their own publicity, instead of trying to get it on the cheap by launching phony attacks against me. I will not debate Finkelstein. I have a longstanding policy against debating Holocaust deniers, revisionists, trivializers or minimizers. Nor is a serious debate about Israel possible with someone who acknowledges that he knows “very little” about that country. I will be happy to debate any legitimate experts from Amnesty International or any other human rights organization. Indeed, I have a debate scheduled with Noam Chomsky about these issues in the fall .

Dershowitz strenuously denied that he did not credit Peters' book adequately in his own book, and Harvard University supported him in that position in exonerating him against Finkelstein's charges that he committed "plagiarism".

In their joint interview aired on Amy Goodman's radio program Democracy Now!, Dershowitz responded to Finkelstein's various arguments.

In early 2007 the DePaul University Political Science department voted 9 to 3, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Personnel Committee 5 to 0, in favor of giving Finkelstein tenure. The three opposing faculty members subsequently filed a minority report opposing tenure, supported by the Dean of the College, Chuck Suchar. Suchar stated he opposed tenure because Finkelstein’s "personal and reputation demeaning attacks on Alan Dershowitz, Benny Morris, and the holocaust authors Eli Wiesel and Jerzy Kosinski" were inconsistent with DePaul’s “Vincentian” values. In June 2007 a 4-3 vote by DePaul University's Board on Promotion and Tenure (a faculty board), affirmed by the university's president, the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, denied Finkelstein tenure. Finkelstein has been placed on administrative leave for the 2007-2008 academic year, the remainder of his contract with DePaul, his sole course having been cancelled.

In September 2006, Dershowitz had sent members of DePaul’s law and political science faculties what he described as “a dossier of Norman Finkelstein’s most egregious academic sins, and especially his outright lies, misquotations, and distortions”, and in April 2007 the De Paul University Liberal Arts and Sciences' Faculty Governance Council had voted unanimously to send a letter to Harvard University expressing "the council's dismay at Professor Dershowitz's interference in Finkelstein's tenure and promotion case." However, in announcing his decision, Holtschneider said the outside attention "was unwelcome and inappropriate and had no impact on either the process or the outcome of this case.” On September 5, 2007, Finkelstein resigned after he and the university reached a settlement; they released a joint statement on the resolution of the conflict.

Even if Finkelstein's most serious charges are not true, it is nonetheless a scandal that Dershowitz's sloppy book was widely and favorably reviewed in many prominent places, including the New York Times, and became a national bestseller. (Its bestseller status probably should include an asterisk because, as Finkelstein notes, some American Jewish organizations and the Israeli government bought bulk orders of the book to use as part of their efforts to advance Israel's case.) Nothing could be better evidence, in my opinion, of the corrosive influence of the Israel lobby on the intellectual climate of our country than how the nation's leading university allowed such a book to pollute our national discourse on one of the most important issues facing American foreign policy." This is not to say that Finkelstein is always the best advocate for his case. As with his previous books, it is clear that his muse is his spleen. Outrage drips from nearly every page of Beyond Chutzpah when facts alone would have made a more effective case. Indeed, I had a similar reaction when I heard Finkelstein speak at Harvard about the Goldhagen book : the facts were clearly in his corner but his strident presentation undermined his case. Still, I hesitate to be too critical of Finkelstein. Much of his outrage is justified. Moreover, he has been on the frontline of a brutal war with the Israel lobby, which gives no quarter to its enemies, and so it may be unreasonable to. ..expect him to write on this topic with clinical detachment. The story Finkelstein tells in Beyond Chutzpah is hard to believe, but it needs to be told. My hat is off to him for having the courage to tell it.

On the basis of Finkelstein's comparisons of Dershowitz's sources, Alexander Cockburn supported Finkelstein's conclusions that Dershowitz was guilty of "wholesale, unacknowledged looting of Peters' research" and mocked Dershowitz's intellectual integrity. Noting a footnote in which Dershowitz referred to the controversial status of Peters' book and stated that he did not "rely" on it for "conclusions or data," Cockburn charges that Dershowitz was in effect—if not intention—lying. In echoing Finkelstein's charge of plagiarism, Cockburn called on Harvard to take action against their professor, Dershowitz.

As Desch acknowledges in his book review of Beyond Chutzpah, "In the wake of a number of similar complaints against Dershowitz and two of his Harvard Law School colleagues Laurence Tribe and Charles Ogletree, former Harvard President Derek Bok conducted an investigation—the details of which were not made public—that...vindicated Dershowitz" (32, col. 3).

It is one thing for Jon Wiener to launch a tendentious attack against Alan Dershowitz.... It is another matter altogether for Wiener to insinuate--without any substantiation at all--that Professor Dershowitz's research assistants are guilty of academic dishonesty. We are deeply offended by Wiener's implications that we would not check the original sources cited in Professor Dershowitz's books. For as long as any of us can remember, the standard operating procedure in Professor Dershowitz's office has always been for us to check out or request the original sources from the Harvard libraries. It was journalistically inappropriate for Wiener not to interview any of Professor Dershowitz's research assistants, who would have firsthand knowledge of what his instructions to "cite" a source actually mean.

In The Holocaust Industry, Finkelstein called Elie Wiesel a liar for claiming to have read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in Yiddish: according to Finkelstein, no translation of the work existed in Yiddish at the time. Dershowitz responded that this was not so: he alleged that one had been published in Warsaw in 1929, and claimed that he had seen a copy at the Harvard Library.

Finkelstein described this latter claim as false and inept, arguing that the only work by Kant in Yiddish owned by the library was a partial translation of the Critique of Practical Reason, a completely different work than the one referred to by Wiesel and Dershowitz.

On MSNBC’s Scarborough Country on September 8, 2003, renowned appellate lawyer, Harvard Law professor and author Alan Dershowitz says: “I will give $10,000 to the PLO...if you can find a historical fact in my book that you can prove to be false.” The book Dershowitz refers to is his latest work The Case For Israel. Today author and professor Norman Finkelstein takes him on and charges that Dershowitz makes numerous factual errors in his book. Dershowitz denies the charges. Finkelstein teaches at DePaul University and is the author of four books including The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering.

Amy Goodman: ...we were intrigued on watching Scarborough Country when you debated, the offer that you made just play it for a moment. Alan Dershowitz: Tell you what, I will give $10,000 to the P.L.O. in your name if you can find historical fact in my book that you can prove to be false. I issue that challenge, I issue it to you, I issue it to the Palestinian Authority, I issue it to Noam Chomsky to Edward Said, every word in my book is accurate and you can't just simply say it's false without documenting it. Tell me one thing in the book now that is false? Amy Goodman: Okay. Let's go to the book. The Case for Israel $10,000.

On Democracy Now! Finkelstein replied to that specific challenge for errors found in his book overall, and Dershowitz upped it to $25,000 for another particular "issue" that they disputed.

Finkelstein referred to "concrete facts which are not particularly controversial," stating that in The Case for Israel Dershowitz attributes to Israeli historian Benny Morris the figure of between 2,000 and 3,000 Palestinian Arabs who fled their homes from April to June, 1948, when, he said, the range in the figures presented by Morris is 200,000 to 300,000.

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Allan Nairn

Allan Nairn (born 1956) is an award-winning U.S. investigative journalist who became well-known when he was imprisoned by the Indonesian military while reporting in East Timor. His writings have focused on U.S. foreign policy in such countries as Haiti, Guatemala, Indonesia, and East Timor. Nairn was born in Mobile, Alabama to a Puerto Rican mother. In high school, he got a job with consumer activist Ralph Nader, working for him for six years.

In 1980, Nairn visited Guatemala in the middle of a campaign of assassination against student leaders amidst a chaotic counterinsurgency campaign against Marxist guerrillas active in both urban and rural areas. He interviewed U.S. corporate executives there, who endorsed the death squads, and he decided to further investigate death squad activities in that country and in El Salvador, also in the throes of civil war. Subsequently, Nairn became interested in East Timor and helped found the East Timor Action Network (ETAN), which was instrumental in bringing the independence movement in East Timor to international attention.

In 1991, covering developments in East Timor, Nairn and fellow journalist Amy Goodman were badly beaten by Indonesian soldiers after they witnessed a mass killing of Timorese demonstrators in what became known as the Dili Massacre. He was beaten with the butts of M16 rifles and had his skull fractured in the melee. Nairn was declared a "threat to national security" and banned from East Timor, but he re-entered several times illegally, and his subsequent reports helped convince the U.S. Congress to cut off military aid to Jakarta in 1993. In a dispatch from in East Timor on March 30, 1998, Nairn disclosed the continuing U.S. military training of Indonesian troops implicated in the torture and killing of civilians. In 1999, Nairn was detained briefly by the Indonesian Army.

In an article published in The Nation in 1994, Nairn revealed the U.S. government's role in establishing and funding the Haitian paramilitary death squad, FRAPH (the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti). Nairn is also author of the "The Reign of ETS: the Corporation That Makes up Minds", an investigation of the SAT I exam and its creators, Educational Testing Service. It was printed as part of the Ralph Nader report in 1980.

In 1993, Nairn and Amy Goodman received the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial First Prize for International Radio award for their reporting on East Timor. In 1994, Nairn won the George Polk Award for Journalism for Magazine Reporting. Also in 1994, Nairn received the The James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for his writing on Haiti for The Nation magazine.

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Pacifica Radio

Pacifica Radio is the oldest public radio network in the United States. It is a network of over 100 affiliated stations and five independently operated, non-commercial, listener-supported radio stations that is known for its liberal and progressive political orientation. Many other U.S. and Canadian community radio stations also carry Pacifica on a program to program basis. The first public radio network in the United States, it is operated by the Pacifica Foundation, with national headquarters adjoining station KPFA in Berkeley, California. Programs such as Democracy Now and Free Speech Radio News are some of its most popular productions.

The Pacifica Radio Archives, housed at station KPFK in Los Angeles, is the nation's oldest public radio archive, documenting more than five decades of grassroots political, cultural, and performing arts history. The archive includes original recordings of interviews with John Coltrane, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, and Langston Hughes, among many others.

Pacifica was founded in 1946 by pacifist Lewis Hill. During World War II, Hill filed for conscientious objector status. After the war, Hill and a small group of ex-conscientious-objectors created the Pacifica Foundation. On-air broadcasting at KPFA in Berkeley, California commenced in 1949.

For most of its history, Pacifica gave each of its stations independent control of programming. Then, during the 1990s, a major controversy arose over rumors that the Pacifica National Board and national staff were attempting to centralize control of content, in order to increase listenership. The rumors also included accusations that the board proposed changing the network's funding model away from reliance on listener donations and toward corporate foundation funding. There were also accusations that the Board was considering selling both KPFA in Berkeley, California and WBAI in New York City, which operate on commercial broadcast channels, and whose frequencies are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This led to years of conflict, including court cases, public demonstrations, firings and strikes of station staff, whose common plight inspired creation of Radio4all.net to preserve what they saw as the original spirit of Pacifica. Many listeners to the individual stations — especially KPFA and WBAI — objected to what they saw as an attempt to tone down the overtly political content on Pacifica stations. The controversy included highly publicized disputes between listener organizations and Mary Frances Berry, the radio network's board chair.

The board eventually was embroiled in counter lawsuits by board members and listener-sponsors, and after global settlement of the lawsuits in November 2001, an interim board was formed to craft new bylaws, which it did in two tumultuous years of national debates among thousands of listener-sponsors and activists, finally giving listener-sponsors the right and responsibility to elect new Local Station Boards at each of the five Pacifica stations. These local boards in turn elect the national board of directors. Aside from some minor changes, the same 2003 bylaws remain in effect today.

Pacifica National News director Dan Coughlin was voted Interim Executive Director of the network in 2002 (the "Interim" was later dropped). But the years of internal legal battles and financial mismanagement had taken a toll. In 2005, Coughlin resigned, the network was still largely disorganized, and Pacifica reverted to operating with an interim executive director for most of the year.

In January 2006, Pacifica hired Greg Guma as the next executive director of the Pacifica Foundation. By the end of the year, it had fully recovered its financial health and had launched two new national programs: Informativo Pacifica, a daily Spanish Language newscast, and From the Vault, a weekly program drawn from Pacifica's extensive audio archives. Pacifica also produced Informed Dissent, a 10-week series for the 2006 mid-term elections that drew from talent across the network.

Guma left his post in September 2007. The National Board unanimously chose former KPFA General Manager Nicole Sawaya as the next Executive Director. Sawaya was among the staff members fired by the national board in 1999 amidst Pacifica's internal crisis. Sawaya began her tenure as Executive Director in mid-November 2007, but abruptly changed her mind two weeks later. Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar said she "found the level of internecine dysfunction at Pacifica overwhelming, and fled her job." The Pacifica National Board spent the next several months negotiating with her, and Sawaya resumed her job on March 5, 2008. She resigned effective September 30 , citing "dysfunctional” governance and “shoddy and opaque” business practices that had plunged the organization into a financial crisis.

A show which has for years been considered the flagship of Pacifica Radio's national programming is Democracy Now!, an independent talk show that covers democracy, human rights and justice issues, and questions the motives of U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan González, this program is a compilation of news, interviews, and documentaries. Democracy Now! is heard and seen on more than 700 radio and TV stations across the U.S. including public-access television stations and satellite television channels Free Speech TV and Link TV.

In 2002, as Pacifica implemented its new listener-sponsor-accountability structure and as Pacifica and Democracy Now! settled outstanding disputes from previous years, it spun off with substantial funding from Pacifica to become an independent production.

The Pacifica network, in addition to extensive community-based productions at its various stations around the United States, also features a daily newscast Free Speech Radio News. FSRN is a radio program founded by Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship, a group of mostly Pacifica Network News reporters who went on strike against the Pacifica board policies of the late 1990s. FSRN is primarily funded by Pacifica, and includes headlines and news features produced by reporters based around the US and in scores of countries around the world. At a time when TV and radio networks are closing down bureaus and laying off reporters, the unique model pursued by FSRN makes it the most well-stocked show with over 200 reporters spread across the world. Free Speech Radio News's first editor was Aaron Glantz.

In 2006, Pacifica added two new national programs: From the Vault from the Pacifica Radio Archives, a weekly program that thematically repackages archival material, making it relevant to contemporary listeners; and Informativo Pacifica, based at KPFK in Los Angeles, a daily Spanish-language newscast that includes reporters from the US and many Latin American countries.

Like many media outlets, Pacifica is devoting coverage to the 2008 Presidential and Congressional elections. In February, it launched Election Unspun, a daily news module that provides election headlines, features, and analysis.

Local Pacifica stations also produce many programs that are available to network stations and affiliates. These include: Sprouts, a weekly showcase of producers and stations around the network, often in documentary format; Explorations in Science with Dr. Michio Kaku, a weekly radio program on science, politics, and the environment; Dennis Bernstein's Flashpoints a daily drive-time public affairs program; and many other regular programs.

Pacifica also produces a wide variety of special broadcasts. These include live coverage of major US Congressional hearings, national mobilizations against war, and other important events like the United States Social Forum. Special programs also include news documentaries, holidays and commemorations, and archival audio from the Pacifica Radio Archives.

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Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill (born c. 1974) is an American investigative journalist with expertise on a number of global issues, most notably the recent rise of private military companies (PMCs). He serves as a correspondent for the U.S. radio and TV program Democracy Now!. He is also a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and a frequent contributor to The Nation. Scahill and colleague Amy Goodman were co-recipients of the 1998 Polk Award for their radio documentary "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship", which investigated the Chevron Corporation's role in the killing of two Nigerian environmental activists.

Up until 1998, he was a regular contributor to the Catholic Worker. He campaigned vigorously against US policy towards Cuba, arguing that the Helms-Burton Act "discards ... sovereignty ... and attempts to supersede International law with US law" and "creates a legal framework authorizing financial and military support for armed subversion of a sovereign nation".

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Source : Wikipedia