On Corporate Journalism as ‘Popularity Contest’

The unlikely news source Voice of America (6/15/09) has Adam Phillips’ profile of Amy Goodman and “the largest public media collaboration in the United States,” Democracy Now!, in which Goodman lays out “her job as a journalist” as “to bring out ‘the voices of people closest to the story at the grassroots'”:

In Goodman’s program, as well as in her column and the three bestselling books she has co-authored with her brother, David Goodman, she also accuses the mainstream media of dangerous laziness in its reliance on so-called “pundits.”

“We need to bring out the voices of people who think outside the box, [and include] creative thinkers, [and] people at the grassroots, who know exactly what they’re talking about, because they’ve experienced policy in a very real way,” she says. “These are the stories we have to tell until they can tell their own.”

The great disparity between complicit corporate reportage and Democracy Now!‘s invaluable muckraking is boiled down to one crucial observation: “The media’s job is ‘to serve democratic society,’ she adds ‘not to win a popularity contest.'” Listen to the FAIR radio show CounterSpin: “Amy Goodman on The Exception to the Rulers” (5/21/04).