Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Project Censored' Lists Top Stories That Go Unreported

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Project Censored' Lists Top Stories That Go Unreported

Article excerpt

"Project Censored" criticizes print and broadcast media outlets for overlooking important issues in favor of "junk food news." The group blames political, economic, and legal pressure.

For 35 years, students and professors at Sonoma State University in California have been taking a hard look at American media, concluding that some of the most important stories have been "censored."

"Censorship" is a provocative word, usually implying government control of news or other information that deserves to be publicly known. Think WikiLeaks and its controversial "editor-in-chief" Julian Assange.

But in the context of "Project Censored" at Sonoma State, it's much more than that:

It's "the intentional non-inclusion of a news story - or piece of a news story - based on anything other than a desire to tell the truth," according to the project's mission statement. "Such manipulation can take the form of political pressure (from government officials and powerful individuals), economic pressure (from advertisers and funders), and legal pressure (the threat of lawsuits from deep-pocket individuals, corporations, and institutions)."

Every year, Project Censored students and faculty consider hundreds of issues and news stories, then a panel of judges whittles it down to 25.

Here are the headlines for the top 10 for this past year:

1. Global Plans to Replace the Dollar2. US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet3. Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk4. ICE Operates Secret Detention and Courts5. Blackwater (Xe): The Secret US War in Pakistan6. Health Care Restrictions Cost Thousands of Lives in US7. External Capitalist Forces Wreak Havoc in Africa8. Massacre in Peruvian Amazon over US Free Trade Agreement9. Human Rights Abuses Continue in Palestine10. US Funds and Supports the Taliban

Among the other top 25: "Obama's Charter School Policies Spread Segregation and Undermine Unions," "War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal," "The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: Manipulating Data to Enrich Drug Companies," and "Increased Tensions with Unresolved 9/ 11 Issues. …

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