Common Dreams NewsCenter

Common Dreams NewsCenter

Common Dreams NewsCenter, often referred to simply as Common Dreams, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit U.S. based progressive news website.[1][2] Common Dreams publishes news stories, editorials and a newswire of current breaking news. Common Dreams also re-publishes relevant content from numerous other sources such as the Associated Press and writers such as Robert Reich and the late Molly Ivins. The website also provides links to other relevant columnists, periodicals, radio outlets, news services, and websites.



Inspiration for the website name "Common" came from the book title The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America is Wracked by Culture Wars, written by Todd Gitlin and published in 1995.

The non-profit organization Common Dreams was founded in 1996 by political consultant Craig Brown, and the News Center launched the following year, in May 1997, by Brown and his wife Lina Newhouser (1951–2008). Brown, a native of Massachusetts, has a long history in progressive politics. He was the director of the Maine Public Interest Research Group from 1973 to 1977 and worked on the presidential campaigns of former US Senators Alan Cranston and Paul Simon. Brown also served as Tom Andrews' Chief of Staff from 1990 to 1994.[3] Part of Brown's job was to compile news for Representative Andrews, which gave him the impetus to do the same on the internet.[4]

During the Kosovo War Common Dreams hosted the "Drumbeats of War" site which, according to the BBC, presented "a round-up of interesting articles with wide-ranging points of view that have previously appeared in newspapers and journals across the United States."[5] Known for its anti-war stance,[6][7] by August 2003 had sold a quarter-million stickers at cost with the message: "Attack Iraq? NO!"[8] Common Dreams has never accepted advertisements or special interest money since its inception, sustaining itself through the contributions of its members and readers, with a few foundation grants along the way. This policy was established to assure its independence as a media outlet.

Praise and criticism

Common Dreams attracts both praise and criticism in political circles. Among its notable supporters are Bill Moyers,[9] Ralph Nader, and Don Imus.[3] The organization has been criticized both for being too progressive[10] and for not being progressive enough. [11]

A few persistent Common Dreams critics have complained that the site has a practice of banning users of its reader-comment utility for no obvious violations of the posting rules, but rather for deviations to the left of certain politically moderated positions, or for any mentioning that Common Dreams bans users.[12] They claim that the posters are banned and the rest of their postings scrubbed from the site without any recourse to appeal or amends. They also claim that posters appear to be banned and their postings deleted based on disagreement with the views presented in the relevant articles [12] or with unstated political views of the editors.


Common Dreams has featured original articles by the following authors:


  1. ^ Balko, Radley (October 22 2003). "Has Ashcroft Abandoned Federalism for Federal Power". Fox News.,2933,100922,00.html. 
  2. ^ a b "Common Dreams entry on 'Discover the Network'". Horowitz, David. Archived from the original on 2006-02-22. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  3. ^ a b 'about us'. 
  4. ^ Rob, Kelley (February 4 2007). "Willamette Week Online". War on the Web Four sites worth checking out.. 
  5. ^ "Kosovo - the conflict on the Web". BBC Online. June 14, 1999. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  6. ^ Campbell, Duncan (September 26 2001). "Internet Gives Peace a Chance; The anti-war movement has been fuelled by counter-cultural online news services, making it very different from its Vietnam predecessor". Guardian Unlimited (London).,,4264782-105806,00.html. 
  7. ^ Nieves, Evelyn (February 16 2003). "Antiwar Organizer's Politics Cause Rift; In a letter on the Web site, more than 150 of the most notable progressive writers and intellectuals in the country.." (subscription required). Washington Post: A22. 
  8. ^ Weinstein, Joshua L. (January 22 2003). "Spur-of-the-moment thought clicks with critics of Iraq war;A Maine man sells 250,000 anti-war bumper stickers over the Internet". Portland Press Herald (Maine): 10A. 
  9. ^ Ritch, Willy (January 12 2007). Audio Interview - Bill Moyers exclusively with CommonDreams. 
  10. ^ Common Dreams Profile. A Guide to the Political Left. 2003. Access date unknown.
  11. ^ "Common Dreams website completely fails to cover A22 Bush protest". Portland Independent Media Center. 6 September 2002
  12. ^ a b Logan, Tony (2008-11-15). "Common Dreams? Or is it censorship in common with the corporate media?". Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  13. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (February 2 2006). "Two T-Shirts, Two Messages and Two Capitol Ejections". New York Times. 

External links

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