Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Delivers Lecture

By Bridget Colliton, Contributing Writer

On April 26, Amy Goodman, broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author, delivered a keynote address to more than 200 audience members in Wilson Hall. Goodman’s visit to the College is part of a tour promoting her new book, coauthored with Dennis Moynihan and David Goodman, “Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America”.

Goodman founded the progressive, independent national news program Democracy Now! in 1966. Democracy Now! focuses its coverage on social movements often ignored by larger media outlets and seeks to amplify the voices of average Americans. In her speech, Goodman discussed some of the program’s most pressing stories, including Standing Rock, the revolutions in Tunisia and Occupy Wall Street. “I deeply think that those who are concerned about war and peace, those who are concerned about the growing inequality in this country, those who care about climate change, racial, economic and social justice and LGBTQ issues, are not the fringe minority. They are not even a silent majority, but the silenced majority: silenced by the corporate media which is why we have to take it back,” Goodman said.

Dennis Moynihan — former outreach director of Democracy Now! and uncle of Maeve Moynihan ’17 — and David Goodman — husband of 2016 Vermont gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter and brother of Amy Goodman — introduced her. Goodman’s speech focused on the importance of independent journalism in amplifying voices of resistance, especially in the Trump era. Goodman shared several examples of Democracy Now’s work in documenting social justice movements, including those that arose recently in Arkansas during the three recent double executions and during Occupy Wall Street. “I remember the corporate media and how they were dealing with Occupy. First they didn’t cover it for like a week, and this is in the media metropolis of the world: New York City. And then they start to ridicule it. This was not a leaderless movement, it was a leader-full movement,” Goodman said.

After learning of Goodman’s interest in coming to Middlebury, Moynihan worked with a variety of student organizations, faculty members and members of the community to plan and publicize the event. Moynihan worked with the Vermont Book Shop, located in downtown Middlebury, to publicize the event to both students and community members. The large interest drawn from community members caused Moynihan to change the location from Dana Auditorium to Wilson Hall. “My uncle Dennis has worked with Amy and Democracy Now! for a number of years, so she has been a close family friend to me for many years. The book tour was the perfect opportunity to have them speak at Middlebury,” Moynihan said. “I hope students and visitors left the event with a deeper understanding of what is actually going on in our world and a deeper commitment to independent media.”

Democracy Now! airs on WRMC 91.1 and online Monday through Friday at 7 PM EST.