Amy Goodman’s book on where ‘journalists go where the silence is’

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amy book By Julia Lagoc

The most insightful, provocative Opinion columns I’ve come across are now anthologized in Amy Goodman’s “Breaking the Sound Barrier.”

Enthralling viewpoints from Democracy Now! — a TV, radio, Internet news program — are bound into this book. The revered host of Democracy Now! explains what the title means to her as a journalist.

“My goal as a journalist is to break the sound barrier, to expand the debate, to cut through the static and bring forth voices that are shut out. It is the responsibility of journalists to go where the silence is, to seek out news and people who are ignored, to accurately and clearly report on the issues — issues that the corporate, for-profit media often distort, if they cover them at all.”

Hey, fellow media people, does this definition fit you?

In his Foreword to Amy Goodman’s book, Bill Moyers — himself a well-known journalist — writes: “Read this collection and revel in the truth-telling. Be outraged by what you learn from it and renew your oath as a citizen. We stand with journalists around the world who deeply believe that the mission of a journalist is to go where the silence is.”

Moyers quotes Goodman when she accepted the Right Livelihood Award for personal courage and transformation: “The responsibility of a journalist: giving a voice to those who have been forgotten, forsaken, and beaten down by the powerful.”

He continued: “And, at a time when the future of journalism is in question, the tragic rationale for our embattled but essential craft…“It’s the best reason I know for us to carry our pens, our microphones, and our cameras, both into our own communities and out to the wider world.”

The anthology contains essays on wide-ranging coverage of humanity’s concerns: War, climate change, torture, health care, global economic meltdown, media, news from the unreported world, grassroots activism, Obama, and luminaries. Among the luminaries eloquently written, I chose John Lennon in the chapter, titled: John Lennon: Imagine peace, a ray of light in dark times.”

Some excerpts from the column written on October 16, 2007: “John Lennon would have turned 67 years old had he not been murdered in 1980, at the age of 40, by a mentally disturbed fan. On his birthday, October 9, his widow, peace activist and artist Yoko Ono inaugurated the Imagine Peace Tower, a pillar of light emerging from a wishing well, surrounded on the ground by the phrase “Imagine Peace” in 24 languages.” Folks, sing John Lennon’s iconic piece, “Imagine” and be immersed in the overpowering feeling of love and peace for all of mankind.”

Democracy Now! is this investigative reporting platform said to be funded entirely from contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations and does not accept advertisers or any kind of government funding.

“Breaking the Sound Barrier,” a compendium of columns and reports, is a must-read for everyone. An autographed copy of the book — acquired by my daughter Rose and her husband Tim in a conference — is addressed thus: Dear Timothy & Rose, Keep BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER Democracy Now! [Signed] Amy Goodman.

It’s a book that has enriched their home library— a collection of masterpieces — where I bask away from the rigors of Uncle Sam country where I’m presently residing. Interested? Ask a book dealer how you can secure a copy.

If I may say so, my hubby Rudy, the human rights lawyer gone to eternal rest, would have re-enforced the title of Amy Goodman’s book as ‘Democracy Now! – forever and ever.’

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