THE MOST insightful, provocative OPINION columns I’ve come across with are anthologized in Amy Goodman’s BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER. Enthralling viewpoints from Democracy Now! — a TV, radio, Internet news program — are bound into a book that bears a striking title, BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER. The revered host of Democracy Now! tells it best about breaking the sound barrier:
“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 a Foreword to Amy Goodman’s book, Bill Moyers — himself a well-known journalist — wrote: “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.”
Bill Moyers quoted Amy Goodman when she accepted the Right Livelihood Award for personal courage and transformation: “The responsibility of a journalist is to give a voice to those who have been forgotten, forsaken, beaten down by the powerful.”
Moyers continued with his Foreword: “And, at a time when the future of journalism is in question [the current Trump era in the U.S. of A. takes potshots at journalists], the tragic rationale for our embattled but essential craft (ending with a quote from Amy Goodman): “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 eleven wide-ranging coverage of humanity’s concerns, to wit: WAR, CLIMATE CHANGE, TORTURE, HEALTH CARE, GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN, MEDIA, NEWS FROM THE UNREPORTED WORLD, GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM, ELECTIONS, OBAMA, and LUMINARIES. The thought-provoking viewpoints start with THE ART OF WAR AND DECEPTION, written on November 30, 2006, and end with HEALTH CARE REFORM NEEDS AN ACTION HERO, written August 11, 2009.
Among the LUMINARIES mentioned in these compilations, I chose John Lennon, this chapter thus titled: JOHN LENNON: IMAGINE PEACE – A RAY OF LIGHT IN DARK TIMES. My excerpts from the first paragraph: “John Lennon would have turned 67 years old (column written Oct. 16, 2007) 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.
A quote from Wikipedia makes freedom ring: “Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations and does not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting or government funding.” The American TV, radio, and Internet news program is replete with investigative journalism that resulted in the compendium BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER, 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, like I did, in the title of this column: Democracy Now! – forever and ever. ([email protected]/PN)