The PPL begins with Democracy Now

Posted on September 3, 2012 by jeffwilber

In a culmination of a year and a half of planning and preparation, and years of journalistic experience meeting in one place, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan kicked off the programming on the PPL’s stage.

Discussing “Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope,” a sequel to their 2006 book “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” Goodman and Moynihan focused less on their 100-stop book tour and instead delivered a compelling presentation on journalistic integrity.

After a welcoming introduction by Bruce Clark, Executive Director of the PPL, Moynihan provided a look into his introduction to Democracy Now, and more importantly, Amy Goodman.  Moynihan explained to the audience what he witnessed at the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, and the detainment of 600 “unidentified” protesters.  It was in this setting that Moynihan met Goodman as she walked down the middle of the street with one hand proudly in the air.  Moynihan discussed the “People’s Radio” stations that broadcast in Seattle, referred to then as “Pirate Radio” for their unlicensed broadcasts on low-frequency FM frequencies.

With an understanding of Moynihan’s background, he graciously thanked the PPL for creating a workspace for the smaller voices to cover the political action of the week.  With this expression of thanks, Moynihan introduced Goodman and the audience welcomed her with enthusiastic applause.

To best capture the remarks that Amy Goodman made, I have bulleted specific statements that stood out to me as I listened.  You can watch the link, but these are key points that I took away, and could influence the future of journalism.

  • Democracy Now began in 1996 and was meant to dissolve after the election, but the topics lived on, and therefore so did the organization.
  • In talking about how the media presents information, Goodman said, “We have got to expand the discussion,” and the world must be seen as a “kitchen table” where we can have open discussions on world matters, war, etc.
  • “The problem is the bipartisan consensus” mainly in the authorisation of war
  • “Must hear the voices of the uninvited guests”
  • Democracy Now focuses on bringing the voices of every person in the political discussion, from the people on the streets, to the delegates in the convention halls

The notes above were about the conversations that we, as Americans, have on a daily basis, how the information is presented to us, and the influence that the presentation has on our conversations.

The second main speaking point to be taken away from Amy Goodman’s presentation was the future of journalism, journalistic integrity, and the importance of supporting and spreading your message.  Below are the key notes that I took away from this section on the future of journalism.

  • The role of journalism at the conventions is to follow and find the money who it is that we are supposed to be holding accountable as far as the funding of these campaigns and who is responsible for the national debt.
  • Journalism is protected by the Constitution of the US because it is the only check on the power that runs the country. That is why honest journalism is so important, to find out where the money leads.
  • You have to get in the street, because that is where the uninvited guests are, and their message is important too
  • Embedding process has brought the media to an all-time low, with the military and the police
  • Journalists trade truth for access in the concept of “embedding” with the power/government
  • “Dissent makes us safer.”
  • When wondering what impact protesters have, consider Dan Ellsberg, and the influence that the Vietnam protests had on him to bring forth the Pentagon Papers.  He believes that WikiLeaks is the “reincarnation” of what he did.

In considering the impact that Amy Goodman had on the audience, I have saved three of her speaking points for the end of this post.  These three points rang the loudest and the clearest with me, and I feel that they are an inspiration to any future protester, politician, journalist, or informed citizen.
“It is not about one individual in the White House, history is made by movements.”

“Freedom of information is power” on discussing Frederick Douglass and how the printing press was the key to empowerment.

“We will not be silent.” The new hippocratic oath of the media.

We would like to thank Democracy Now, Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan for their presentation tonight and for opening our stage with a compelling push for a higher level of journalism and public knowledge.

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