Occupy Wall Street: Amy Goodman

Occupy Wall Street: Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host and producer of Democracy Now!, an independent grassroots political news program that brings voices and news stories often excluded by the mainstream media. Here she is pictured during an interview at last week's Occupy May Day protests.

Freedom of press is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Although we boast regularly about freedom of press, U.S. ranked 47th in the Reporters Without Borders 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index. This index does not factor in the quality of news, just government censorship. Most of the mainstream news in the United States is self-censored due to commercial interests of the media, where instead we get "news" full of sensational and irrelevant stories that more resemble soap operas. If we actually measured news by its quality, where sensationalism, political punditisim and corporate propoganda reigns, and where bias by omission, bias by story selection and bias by placement have been transformed into a dark art form, we would not even rank that high. We need more programs like Democracy Now! to overcome the mainstream media manipulation.

Last year, journalists were beaten, arrested and prevented form covering some Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Stories involving the surveillance and harassment of whistle-blowers, filmmakers and independent journalists are becoming more frequent in the recent years. Amy Goodman, in the April 20, 2012 episode of Democracy Now!, interviewed a whistle-blower and two journalists regarding growing state surveillance and wrote a thought provoking column about it on Truthdig.

In 2008, Amy Goodman, was unlawfully arrested along with dozens of other journalists covering the protests at the Republican National Convention. Her lawsuit against the St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments and the Secret Service has since settled: "The settlement also includes an agreement by the St. Paul police department to implement a training program aimed at educating officers regarding the First Amendment rights of the press and public..."

More Occupy photos.

Song of the Day: Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell (1984)
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