Goodman was news director of Pacifica Radio station WBAI-FM in New York City for a decade, co-founding Democracy Now in 1996. The show moved off-site permanently as a result of the battle for control over Pacifica Radio in 2000.
Covering the battle for independence in East Timor in 1991, Goodman and journalist Allan Nairn were badly beaten by Indonesian soldiers. In Nigeria, she and journalist Jeremy Scahill documented the cooperation in human rights abuses between the Chevron Oil Corporation and the Nigerian army.
In the runup to the 2000 presidential election, President Bill Clinton telephoned Democracy Now to argue in support of Vice President Al Gore over Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. The ensuing hostile interview between Goodman and Clinton became the stuff of legend among American progressives.
Goodman has received dozens of awards for her work, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the George Polk Award. In 2001 she declined to accept the Overseas Press Club Award, in protest of the group's pledge not to ask questions of keynote speaker Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke.