One of America’s most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio program, Alternative Radio—36 years and running— and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His latest books are Global Discontents: Rising Threats to Democracy (MacMillan, 2017), Edward Said: Culture and Resistance (Haymarket Books, 2019), and Retargeting Iran (City Lights, 2020). Forthcoming is Chronicles of Dissent (Haymarket Books, 2021) with Noam Chomsky. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media and global rebellions.
As a kid, David was a bit of a rebel himself. He frequently played hooky from school. Growing up in New York in the shadow of the Armenian Genocide sparked an interest in history and politics. His first interview was with his mother, Araxie. That interview was the most difficult that he has ever done. He conducted a series of interviews with survivors. He was further radicalized when the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team moved to Los Angeles. He said, “That’s all I needed to know about capitalism.”
David Barsamian is the winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Democracy Alliance of Vancouver, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and The Radical Desi. He has collaborated with the world-renowned Kronos Quartet in events in New York, London, Vienna, San Francisco and elsewhere.
The Boulder Weekly published this feature about him.