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Amy Goodman ’84, the host and executive producer of the news show Democracy Now!, discussed the role of an independent press in resisting President Donald Trump's administration in Science Center E Tuesday.
In her roughly hour-long talk, Goodman—who was introduced by brother and fellow journalist David L. Goodman ’82—discussed her book, also titled “Democracy Now!” and lodged pointed criticisms against the mainstream media.
Goodman began her lecture recounting her show’s 20-year-long history, touching on various issues such as police brutality, climate change and capital punishment in the mid-to-late 90's. She also spoke of her belief in the media’s potential for good.
“I think the media can be the greatest force for peace on earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. Which is why we have to take the media back,” Goodman said.
Goodman pointed to the Iraq war as an example of mainstream media biases. Citing a study of news coverage in the lead-up to the Iraq War, Goodman said mainstream broadcasters gave a skewed perspective of public opinion on a potential invasion.
“How many [of those interviewed by mainstream broadcasters] do you think were with anti-war leaders or peace leaders? Half the population for and half against [invading Iraq]? Three. Three out of almost 400. That’s no longer mainstream media. That’s extreme media beating the drums for war,” Goodman said.
Goodman added that she believed that the public’s interests are not appropriately informed by the mainstream media.
“I really do think that those who are deeply concerned about war and peace, those who are concerned about the growing inequality in this country, those who are concerned about climate change, the fate of the planet, those who are concerned about social, economic, racial injustice are not a fringe minority,” Goodman said. “Not even a silent majority. But a silenced majority silenced by the corporate media,”
Christopher-Michael “Spike” Daeley, a linguistics graduate student from the University of Massachusetts Boston and self-described avid follower of Democracy Now! since 2011, said he was delighted to meet Goodman.
“It was a real treat to come in and finally see Amy because her voice gets me up in the morning and is something I hear throughout the day," Daeley said. "The tireless work that she, Juan González, and the folks at Democracy Now! [do] really keeps me going and keeps me energized to be active in society.”
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