About David Barsamian

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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—34 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). 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.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Your talk was very educational, thought-provoking and at times entertaining, just what the students needed! I myself learned a lot. Thank you again for speaking at Red Rocks!!!Simon, Professor, Red Rocks Community College, Denver, CO
Thank You David! I can't tell you how many fired-up people I've heard from since your talk. What a great evening!
Christie, manager of Gallery Bookstore in Mendocino, CA
Thank you David. You are a treasure for your ceaseless dedication and service so focused on exactly what the work needs . the voices of the most poignant luminaries of the world.
Ahni in Santa Fe, NM
Thanks again for the interview David. Your enthusiasm for community radio is a huge boost to us.Sam at CKUW in Winnipeg, MB
It was great to see you again at the CCA, always! Your presentation was as rousting as it was informative. Thank you for gracing our town with your insights and wisdoms in these challenging times.
Paulette in Santa Fe, NM
I wish you every inspiration to continue your work.  I am comforted by the commitment of people like you.Fritz in Indianapolis , IN
I just read your May 17 piece at Counterpunch; it’s by far the the best of all I have looked at, with an excellent brief history and contemporary implications. Much appreciated.John Marciano, Historian in Talent, OR
You are one of the reasons I'm as sane as I am these days, being able to listen to the collective wisdom of your recorded guests rather than Trump's babble.Marcia in NM
We certainly were moved and informed by your talk and your enthusiasm and commitment.  We would love to have you back!Suzy Prez, Station Manager, KRFY Sandpoint, ID
I was very glad I was able to make the talk, which I thought was excellent. I was excited to hear your perspective, especially considering all your collaborations with such amazing thinkers. I was very pleased to see the terrific turnout, too.Cameron in Sandpoint, ID
Thanks for coming to Moscow with your important message. It was inspiring.Richard in Moscow, ID
Your talk at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was absolutely fantastic. Thank you. Now to find effective ways to be an activist!
Natalie in Colorado Springs, CO
I enjoyed your talk at the university immensely. Music to my ears.Danny in Colorado Springs, CO
So good seeing and hearing you the other night at the public library. Thanks for coming to Gilpin County!Virginia in Black Hawk, CO
I am so happy that I was present to hear David speak. As a journalism school graduate and on-and-off freelancer,  I can usually—eventually—find words to express a thought.  But even today,  many days after the event, I can still only say, WOW that was amazing!Angela in Vancouver, Canada
I am quite familiar with your program as I listen often to KUNM.  In fact it was your program that introduced me to Prof. Chomsky.  I am a very conservative individual and would never have bothered to read his "left wing screeds" but, captive in a car, I began listening to you and Amy Goodman and, lo and behold, I agreed with you and Prof. Chomsky.  Very effective medium, the radio.  Gets through the toughest barriers.J.C. in Albuquerque, NM
Thanks for coming to our community. That was a fab talk.
Lots of people lingered discussing what actions to take next, so definitely reignited the fire up here last night!
Jessie in Nederland, CO
If it weren't for you we wouldn't have heard of Chomsky. Thank you.Sally in LA
Saw a story about you on Democracy Now! I commend you for your vision, and for your courage. Please keep up your good work.Glenn in Denver, CO
You are a rock star!  That was the best speech I've ever seen you deliver! The black cat wandering through the audience and going up to the podium was the icing on the cake.Laurie in Santa Fe, NM
I really enjoyed your talk on the media at the University of WA. That's an area of major interest to me.Guy in Seattle, WA
Thank you so much for your great work and to create an alternative to corporate media.Mehdi in Victoria, BC
Good to see you and that you are energized with the unique stimulus combo of caffeine, sugar and the FBI.  And I am sure you will keep up the good work, agitating the agitatable, stirring us up to new heights.
Steve in Colorado Springs, CO
It is always a pleasure to listen to you.Saif in Surrey, BC
Thanks always David, for your grand work. I wish I could send you a $million!Justine in Prineville, OR
My son Sam was so impressed with your talk, political discourse, and intellectual mind-stretching. Thank you for all you do and sharing with us through radio waves, books, and beautiful, articulate lectures.Natalie in Colorado Springs, CO
You have done so much to inspire so many, myself included, to question the brutality of capitalism and advocate for a better world.Garrett in Kansas City
Just a donation to underline my support. Nobody, but Alternative Radio brings intellectual common sense to people. I'll try to get more people interested.Liz in OH
Best to you and the very important work that you do!
Elizabeth in Astoria, OR
I can't tell you how much I appreciate your vital info.  Truly an education that all Americans need, imho.
Holly in Portland, OR
You really are so valuable to our community and to the world. Thank you for your continuing efforts.Mikl in Longmont, CO
I so appreciated your talk on Iran.  So much important information.  Events that we knew about only in the most superficial way.Judy in Golden, CO
Thank you for your great work. Using the media to its utmost is critical and you do that.Lane in Albuquerque, NM
I heard you speak in Golden on Iran. It's always a treat to hear you.Tamara in Boulder, CO
Thank you for your efforts in providing people with a more accurate reading of what is going on in the world. Often, we just don't know what the truth is.Sabira in Edmonton, AB
Many thanks from Ralph and me for the AR programs. We will listen attentively and play them for others who need to hear the messages.Claire Nader in Winsted, CT
Glad to hear AR is back on WBAI as you continue your good work. Saturdays 7-8PM.Marty in New York, NY
Thanks for your dedication in getting the truth out and stirring people like me to join the transformation.Pat in North Carolina
What a list of achievements you have to your credit. My wife and I are proud to know you.Bill in Grand Point, ME
I hear Alternative Radio on CIUT. I really appreciate all the great AR programming: Chomsky, Zinn, Hedges, Shiva, Roy, Bezruchka-the list goes on and on. Thank you.Lee in Toronto, ON
Everyone should listen to your talk on Iran, people need to know the real history. So many people fall into line, following sanitized versions fed to the public. When the government and corporate media team up, the truth is well hidden, buried if not for people like you.  Not just Iran, but much of US foreign policy. I am so ashamed they do this. I have forwarded it to friends today: Targeting Iran - David Barsamian on KGNU.
Harry in Jersey City, NJ
Thank you for all your hard work. For many years you've played a big role in the way I receive and understand news and information.Monika in Redmond, WA
I wish you every inspiration to continue your work.  I am comforted by the commitment of people like you. Thank you, David.Fritz in Dixon, NM
Just wanted to let you know that I was just down in the San Luis Valley. I'm driving near Alamosa, and I go searching through the Christian, country-western, and heavy metal channels on my radio, and I hear this fascinating show on Iran on the air. I listened for a little while, and I went, that's freakin' David! It seems it is some sort of indie station (KCEI) out of Taos. Damn, that was sweet to hear. It was your talk in Golden. Great program.Dennis in Rollinsville, CO
David, a big thanks to you for all you do for all the rest of us. Your life IS giving: providing information for challenging the rest of us to keep learning. The books and recordings AR offers are from THE BEST of THE BEST. AR is an island of intelligent thought for us in the land of Trump. We are deeply grateful to you for giving so much of yourself for so much of your life.Georgia and Bill in Paulden, AZ
Your visit to Edmonton, your words and high spirit that was very much felt in the room and after the talk. Everyone was left energized and many were motivated to act.Ghada in Edmonton, AB
Thank you for your great work. Using the media to its utmost is critical and you do that.
Lane in Albuquerque, NM
Thank you for all you do and sharing it with us through radio waves, books, and beautiful, articulate lectures.Natalie in Colorado Springs, CO
Congratulations on 34 years on AR!  That is an achievement to be celebrated!  Thanking you for your hard work seems like such a trivial gesture but I really thank you for toiling for so long on this project.  At a crucial time for me when I was trying to figure out how I could contribute my zest to the movement, you showed what one could accomplish.  It's an honor to occupy space in your consciousness.Howard in Olympia, WA
Thank you, David and AR, for all you do. Do you realize that many, many of us routinely depend on that special hour on KALW each week when we get to hear what you'll be talking about? You're like the ecumenical spiritual leader, both intellectually and practically.Doris in Berkeley, CA
In annals of American public discourse, your name shines prominently among those who constantly question the dominant discourse.Haider in Vancouver, BC
You're amazing. Thanks, again, for your largesse and for all you do. Your choices of speakers/thinkers/social change advocates make such an indispensable contribution to our collective well-being and awareness of what really matters.Dorothy in California
Thank You for your wonderful work on behalf of ALL of us, even if many don't know it!!! You nourish the energy of the Universe.Marilyn in Warrensburg, NY
Just listened to a great pandemic talk. Your work is more important than ever. Continue to persevere. Thank you.Jack in Astoria, OR
Every time I listen to AR I am grateful for your unrelenting pursuit. You almost magically assemble a cast of good people who are extremely well informed and then put it out for us all. It's hard for people like me to see all the skill and knowledge that goes into AR. You and your guests win my Right Livelihood Award and my affection.Melba in OR
Thank you for all your efforts over the years. I've been wanting to contribute to you for a long time. I am sending in my donation.Karen in Candor, NY
Thank you for your valuable and heartening broadcasts. My housemates, they are students, working part-time, and I listen on WAMC. AR gives encouragement in these terrible times. Ruth in Hillsdale, NY

I am extremely impressed with the format of the transcript which reads like a published article! Your program is always so comprehensive and informative. When I am able to tune in to Alternative Radio, I always learn so much, while learning there is so much more to learn! Thank you and keep up all the great journalism! 

Susanna in Seattle, WA
Your work and efforts to keep radical progressive voices in the ecosystem are vital.Jeff in New Rochelle, NY
Thank you for the work you do. As the 'free press' becomes more fragile, your dissemination of vital perspectives on current events is essential.Juliana in NM
Alternative Radio is wonderful. I am so grateful that you and AR exist, and that nearly every week I can listen to a new episode of informative discussions and talks about the topics that the mainstream news outlets ignore. My favorite speakers from the past are Max Blumenthal, Trita Parsi, Laura Secor and Medea Benjamin. Thank you for pointing out the archives, I will explore the resources available.
Feruza in London, UK
On Saturday mornings, between 11 and noon, I catch your programing on WZBC--yea Boston College! And Yea AR!Ruth in Watertown, MA

AR is one of the most worthwhile programs on the radio. Your programs give me a lot of information and enjoyment. You air people that are experts in their field and it is information I know that I can trust.

Ruth in Bainbridge, NY
Thank you for your work on Alternative Radio (and, of course, your books) over the years, which has informed, inspired and changed me at a personal and political level.C. Reilly
You and AR were pivotal for me during my coming of age politically during the lead up to the Iraq war. It is an honor to be on AR.Dahr Jamail, prize-winning journalist
I love and learn so much through your programs. I feel incomplete if I wake up late on Sunday Mornings. Thank you so much for offering your insightful talk radio show.Silvia in Greenfield, MA
AR is the most important program on radio.  All of radio.  Your interviews, your hard work fills my life with meaning.Sally in CO
Thank you for your work. It's through efforts like yours that we are able to continue to move society forward.Don in Pittsburgh, PA
Your speakers have given me inspiration and hope for more years than I can recall which makes me thankful for your
Chris in Duvall, WA
Your Alternative Radio Paul Street program on CIUT/Toronto was the best radio I've heard in years. Our CBC has fallen into useless liberalism. It was invigorating to hear your broadcast. In solidarity.Jeff in Toronto, ON
You are broadcasting with extreme honesty and objectivity about various actual facts of life. Long live David!Reza