Common Dreams NewsCenter, often referred to simply as Common Dreams, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit U.S.-based progressive news website. 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 Molly Ivins. The website also provides links to other relevant columnists, periodicals, radio outlets, news services, and websites.
Inspiration for the website name "Common Dreams.org" 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. Part of Brown's job was to compile news for Representative Andrews, which gave him the impetus to do the same on the internet.
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." Known for its anti-war stance, by August 2003 commondreams.org had sold a quarter-million stickers at cost with the message: "Attack Iraq? NO!" 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.
Common Dreams has featured original articles by the following authors:
- Balko, Radley (22 October 2003). "Has Ashcroft Abandoned Federalism for Federal Power". Fox News.
- "CommonDreams.org 'about us'".
- Rob, Kelley (4 February 2007). "War on the Web Four: sites worth checking out". Willamette Week.
- "Kosovo - the conflict on the Web". BBC Online. June 14, 1999. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
- Campbell, Duncan (26 September 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).
- Nieves, Evelyn (16 February 2003). "Antiwar Organizer's Politics Cause Rift; In a letter on the Web site Commondreams.org, more than 150 of the most notable progressive writers and intellectuals in the country.." (subscription required). Washington Post: A22.
- Weinstein, Joshua L. (22 January 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.
- Kirkpatrick, David (2 February 2006). "Two T-Shirts, Two Messages and Two Capitol Ejections". New York Times.