Reviewing Project Censored's Latest Top 25 Censored Stories - by Stephen Lendman
For 33 years, Sonoma State University's (SSU) Project Censored (PC) has engaged in pioneering research on, and advocacy for, First Amendment issues. Founded by Carl Jensen in 1976, it's now headed by Professor Ben Frymer. On July 1, he took over from Professor Peter Phillips who stepped down after 13 years of distinguished service as Director.
PC works cooperatively "with numerous independent (US) media groups," primarily to train SSU students "in media research and First Amendment issues and the advocacy for, and protection of, free press rights in the United States."
For over three decades, it's "trained over 1,500 students in investigative research" and continues doing it through "a partnership of faculty, students, and the community," cooperatively engaged in "research on important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the US corporate media."
Each year, it ranks the top 25 and publishes them in its yearbook, "Censored: Media Democracy in Action." The latest "Censored 2010: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008 - 09" just out is the subject of this review. The book may now be purchased locally, online, and most easily at projectcensored.org/store.
The current edition is larger than even, and includes the year's honorable mention choices as well as additional chapters covered below.
In the preface, Peter Phillips and former Associate Director Mickey Huff highlight Censored 2010's theme in explaining the corporate media's emphasis on commercialism, the "inane", the "irrelevant," and their willful suppression of real news and information on vital issues.
Their betrayal of the public trust reveals them to be "a gossip rag or screed sheet, a veritable three-ring circus sideshow of spectacle and distraction," and a "dying system" relying on disinformation, faux reporting over real journalism, and the main threat to democracy in America that can't flourish without a free and open media able to supply everyone with real news and information.
In its annual editions and daily on its web site (projectcensored.org), PC offers the best of what the corporate media censor or suppress. Censored 2010 offers more of it than ever, and credit for it goes to Peter Phillips, Mickey Huff, and the entire Project Censored team. As Dahr Jamail ends his introduction, "we are (indeed) fortunate to have (a valued) ally like Project Censored."
Tricia Boreta and Peter Phillips explain why:
-- because "the absence of real news from corporate media has never been so complete;
-- Lies, deception, propaganda, superficial coverage, and overt censorship are on the rise;" and as a result
-- democracy is being willfully destroyed.
But PC isn't standing pat, and allied with 28 professors nationally have incorporated PC "curricula and investigative procedures into their classrooms." They, and a free and open Internet, are the future. But not without a long tough struggle against powerful dark forces determined to hold on and control all news and information sources. It's for public outrage and committed organizations like PC to stop them. It's our country and our choice.
Zombie Newspapers - Dead A Generation Ago, Their Corpses Are Showing Up
Buffalo State College Journalism Professor Michael Niman highlighted the decline of US dailies at a time of economic crisis. Some have shut down. Most have downsized, while others are going virtual over print. However, "the collapse of journalism is old news. Newspapers have been dead for quite a while." We're just now seeing their corpses, but the concentration of media monopolies, the proliferation of one-newspaper towns (in 98% of US cities), and the destruction of media diversity made it predictable.