John Nichols

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John Nichols

John Nichols is Madison Wisconsin based "progressive" journalist.

Education/early career

Nichols is former national correspondent for newspapers in Toledo and Pittsburgh. He holds a master's in journalism from Columbia University[1].

DSA media training

On April 28 2000, the Sacramento Democratic Socialists of America Local hosted a regional Harrington-Hamer Institute training in media skills and community organizing featuring John Nichols of The Nation and Salim Muwakkil of In These Times.[2]

DSA Los Angeles event

Democratic Socialists of America kicked off events at the Democratic National Convention by organizing a major panel on the 2000 presidential and congressional elections. National Director Horace Small played host to DSA leaders Harold Meyerson, of LA Weekly, who was doing double duty putting out a daily for conventioneers, Barbara Ehrenreich, who has been stumping for Ralph Nader, Cornel West, who was a co-chair of the Bill Bradley primary campaign, and DSA youth organizer Daraka Larimore-Hall–.

They were joined by panelists Maria Elena Durazo, president of H.E.R.E in LA, John Nichols of the Madison daily Capital Times, Antonio Villa, Speaker Emeritus of California’s Assembly, and William Monroe Campbell, of Ministers Against Global Injustice.

Lynn Shaw longtime DSA member and vice-chair of the LA County Democrats, chaired the event. — The event, at the University of Southern Calfornia, resulted in a revitalized Los Angeles local. USC professor Bettine Berge, professor of East Asian Studies, was instrumental in getting us the fine auditorium. Lynn Chancer and Frank Llewellyn were also key to making the event a success. [3]

DSA conference


John Nichols, political editor of The Nation magazine, and Loraine Ballard- Morrill, news and public affairs director of Philadelphia radio station Power 99 FM, were featured speakers at a media workshop held in conjunction with the Democratic Socialists of America 2001 National Convention. Nichols and Ballard-Morrill, along with fellow presenter George McCollough, station manager of DUTV in Philadelphia, discussed with the audience various ways of having an impact on media in an age of media concentration and decreasing attention to local news.[4]

Chicago DSA dinner

In 2006 Attendees at the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America local’s 48th annual Debs-Thomas-Harrington dinner heard keynoter John Nichols predict that “this year is the end of [the Bush] administration. The only thing that stands in the way is the Democratic Party.”[5]

Free Press

Josh Silver is the executive director of Free Press, a national, nonpartisan organization that he co-founded with Robert McChesney and John Nichols in 2002 to "engage citizens in media policy debates and create a more democratic and diverse media system". He has published extensively on media policy, campaign finance and other public policy issues.[6]

Media Democracy Legal Project

Advisors to the Media Democracy Legal Project, circa 2006, included:[7]

DSA dinner speaker

Nichols addresses the DSA dinner

The Chicago Democratic Socialists of America 48th Annual Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner was held on Friday evening, April 28, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, just across the Chicago River from the Loop[8].

It was held on the eve of a major anti-war demonstration in New York City that drew some 350,000 participants. A few days later, on May 1st, there were demonstrations across the nation in support of immigrant rights. The march and rally in Chicago was estimated to have drawn nearly a half-million participants.
The featured speaker was John Nichols, a radical journalist whose work appeared regularly in The Nation and Wisconsin's Capitol Times.

According to a DSA advertisement for the event[9];

John Nichols of The Nation, will speak to the need to go beyond taking back our country, beyond things just not getting worse, and the need for a progressive agenda.

Committees of Correspondence conferences

At the Committees of Correspondence National Conference and Convention, July 25-28, 2002 San Francisco State University, the Plenary Panel and Discussion on Electoral Reform and the Struggle for Democracy comprised;

John Nichols, Gus Newport, Medea Benjamin, Mildred Williamson The protection of the right to vote, ballot access, electoral campaigns that are independent of corporations and major political parties.[10]

John Nichols, The Nation magazine writer, who covers electoral issues, addressed the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism 5th National Convention and Symposium July 20 - 23 2006 in Chicago Panel 3: Strategies for Winning at the Polls in 2006 and 2008[11].

FightingBobFest speaker

John Nichols has been a guest speaker at Wisconsin's annual progressive Fighting Bob Fest, in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012.[12]

The Nation

In 2009 John Nichols was listed as Washington correspondent of The Nation[13].

In These Times

As of 2009 John Nichols was a Contributing Editor of Chicago based socialist journal In These Times.[14]

The Progressive

Nichols has been a frequent contributor to the liberal magazine, The Progressive.

"Meltdown and Recovery in Detroit"

On May 23, 2009, together with The Nation magazine and other organizations, the Institute for Policy Studies helped convene a panel discussion on the effects of the economic crisis in Detroit. "Meltdown and Recovery in Detroit: The Economic Collapse and a People's Plan for Recovery" was an historic gathering of local Detroit activists and national progressive leaders, all offering their perspectives on what caused the economic crisis, how it was affecting Detroit, and what changes need to be made to recover from it.

Moderated by John Nichols and with Congressman John Conyers as keynote speaker, the panel featured Barbara Ehrenreich, Robert Pollin, Grace Lee Boggs, JoAnn Watson, Elena Herrada, and Dianne Feeley.[15]

GRO Gala

This is What Democracy Looks Like! GRO – Grass Roots Organizing Tenth Anniversary Gala Event, October 8, 2010, at the The Renaissance Grand Hotel St. Louis, Missouri

Keynote Speaker John Nichols Washington Correspondent The Nation.

St. Louis Host Committee;[16]

Supporting Wisconsin occupation

An event MEDIA & THE WISCONSIN LABOR STRUGGLE, was held Thursday, March 3, 2011, 7:00PM Orpheum Theatre, 216 State Street, Madison.

Speakers were;[17]

Left Forum 2011

The Wisconsin Uprising & Beyond:

2011 YDS Winter Conference

On the weekend of March 18th-20th, 2011, the Young Democratic Socialists held their annual Winter outreach conference "Their Crisis, Our Pain: The Democratic Socialist Response to the Great Recession". Cornel West "will be the featured speaker on Saturday the 19th, and we will also host John Nichols, Bertha Lewis, Mark Engler, and Dan Cantor from the Working Families Party.

Other listed speakers included Komozi Woodard, Corey Walker, Fabricio Rodriguez, Christian Parenti, Stephanie Fairyington, Christine Kelly, Sheila Collins, Billy Wharton, Liz Shuler, Martin Weinstein, Michelle O'Brien, Skip Roberts, Joseph Schwartz.

Panels on race, the environment, organizing, and other topics will allow participants to learn from and communicate with fellow activists on some of the most important domestic and international issues. The event is perfect for both newcomers to Democratic Socialism/YDS, as well as activist veterans.

Add your name to the list here and you'll be notified when online registration goes live. Invite all your friends!

Location, Bayard Rustin High School 351 W 18th St New York, NY 10011.[18]

"United States of ALEC"

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is "a scheme to remake America one statehouse at a time," says narrator Bill Moyers. "United States of ALEC" is a documentary collaboration between Okapi Productions, LLC and the Schumann Media Center. This film is the extended version of the report which first aired on public broadcasting stations nationwide featuring the investigative work of the Center for Media and Democracy and Wisconsin activists Lisa Graves, Mark Pocan, John Nichols, Mary Bottari, Joel Rogers, Julie Underwood and more.[19]

WIARA event


John Nichols - journalist, author and Wisconsin native - speaks to the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, about media and media relations March 21, 2011.

Equality and Jobs for the 99%:Economic Justice for All

A public event sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America, "Equality and Jobs for the 99%:Economic Justice for All", was held November 11, 2011; 7:00 p.m. at St. Stephen and Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton NW, Washington, D.C.

Speakers were;

DSA, the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, is the largest socialist political organization in the country, with more than 6,000 members and active locals in more 40 U.S. cities and college campuses. DSA Locals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Wichita, among others, have taken an active role in the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Freedom Plaza, and other Occupy protests in support of jobs and economic justice.

This meeting was organized in conjunction with the 15th National Convention of Democratic Socialists of America, which is being held at the Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner November 11-13, 2011.[20]

The Peoples' Inauguration

Progressive Central The Peoples' Inauguration was held Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law 5th Floor Moot Court Room, 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

The event was sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America, The Nation, National Nurses United, and Busboys and Poets. The event was advertised and promoted by the Institute for Policy Studies.

The 11:15 am-­‐12:30 pm session What will the Progressive Agenda be in 2013? was moderated by John Nichols, and featured Rep. Jim McGovern – Rep. John Conyers -­‐ Andrea Miller, PDA National Team -­‐ Randy Parraz, Citizens for a Better Arizona.[21]

2013 11th Annual Douglass-Debs Dinner


Over 180 people attended the thirteenth annual Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn on November 10th. Honorees were Steve Babson/People Before Banks Coalition and Marjorie Mitchell, the Executive Director of the Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network.

The highlight of the evening was John Nichols’ keynote speech. The theme of his speech was that socialism is not a bizarre European ideology, incompatible with the American experience. Rather, socialism has been an intrinsic part of American politics since the founding of the nation.[22]

Mapping Socialist Strategies

Mapping Socialist Strategies was convened from August 1-4 in Briarcliff Manor, NY, by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office. It brang together 100 influential progressives and leftists from across the United States, Canada, and Europe for an “un-conference” on socialist strategies.

The "Advisory Group" consistied of Greg Albo, Laura Flanders, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Rachel LaForest, Sarah Leonard, John Nichols, Frances Fox Piven, Bhaskar Sunkara, Maria Svart, Sean Sweeney, Bill Tabb, and Steve Williams.[23]

Gathering of socialists


Michael Lighty, Jim Hightower, Thom Hartmann, Tim Carpenter, Mimi Kennedy, John Nichols, 2014.

Progressive Summit

Yasmine Taeb February 6, 2017:

I joined fellow activists and members of Congress at the annual Progressive Summit yesterday to discuss our strategy for the first 100 days of the 115th Congress. My message to attendees: organize, mobilize, and fight, fight, fight. We need to continue to resist the disastrous policies of this administration and will need our allies in the Progressive Caucus to stand with us every step of the way -- to join us in the streets to protest and engage in acts of civil disobedience. These are extraordinary times and demand extraordinary actions. — at The Lord Baltimore Raddison Hotel.


Onstage with John Nichols, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Takano.

Fighting Bob Fest

Fighting Bob Fest speakers 2018: Jim Hightower, Randy Bryce, Mandela Barnes, John Nichols, Rep. Chris Taylor, Sarah Godlewski, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Ruth Conniff, Will Durst, Karin Wolf, Kim Wright, Paula Bezark, Lauren Peterson, Raging Grannies, Danny Chicago, Norman Stockwell.

External links