CommonDreams.org is a popular website founded in 1996 by radical activist Craig Brown “to develop use of the Internet as a progressive political organizing tool.” It not only banners the day’s hottest news and commentary selected by Editor Brown but also provides a large number of hyperlinks to other leftist and liberal columnists, periodicals, radio outlets, news services, and websites.
The left-leaning sources hyperlinked by CommonDreams.org range from mild (e.g., Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Newsweek) to radical (e.g., Noam Chomsky and Monkeyfist Collective) to explicitly Marxist (e.g., Monthly Reviewand Howard Zinn). Other writers and publications whose commentaries are linked from CommonDreams.org include Ali Abunimah, Eric Alterman, Robert Borosage, Alexander Cockburn, Jeff Cohen, Juan Cole, Joe Conason, David Corn, Barbara Ehrenreich, Tom Engelhardt, Robert Fisk, Tom Hayden, Bob Herbert, Arianna Huffington, Sam Husseini, Jesse Jackson, Naomi Klein, Paul Krugman, Michael Lerner, Manning Marable, Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, Ted Rall, Robert Reich, Frank Rich, Arundhati Roy, Robert Scheer, Norman Solomon, Michael Tomasky, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Black Commentator, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the Institute for Public Accuracy, The American Prospect, CounterPunch, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, Sojourners, and Z Magazine.
CommonDreams.org’s name was inspired by a co-founder and former President of the Students for a Democratic Society, Todd Gitlin, whose book The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars was published in 1995, only months before Brown launched his website.
CommonDreams.org is closely tied to two other entities — NewsCenter, launched by Brown in May 1997, and the Progressive NewsWire, which publishes de facto press releases by leftist groups to promote their own rallies, protests and other activities.