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“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.


In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan promulgated the idea of a new “global village,” a world knit together and transformed by television and other marvels of the electronic age. His popular book, “Understanding Media,” predicted that an information network would envelop the planet, spreading democracy and unity … a “general cosmic consciousness.” But in recent years, information networks are circling the world with messages far from the enlightenment and openness of a “general cosmic consciousness.” A handful of mammoth private organizations, driven by the bottom line, have begun to dominate the world’s mass media. Moreover, they confidently announce that by the 1990s they — five to ten corporate giants — will control most of the world’s important newspapers, magazines, books, broadcast stations, movies, recordings and video cassettes.

According to media scholar Ben Bagdikian, this does not bode well for McLuhan’s “universal understanding.” The lords of the global village have their own political and eco­nomic agenda. All resist economic changes that do not support their own financial interests. Together, they exert a homogenizing power of ideas, culture and commerce that affects populations larger than any in history. Neither Caesar nor Hitler, Franklin Roosevelt nor any Pope, has commanded as much power to shape the information on which so many people depend to make decisions about everything from whom to vote for to what to eat.

At this time, the big five media corporations that dominate the fight for the hundreds of millions of minds in the global village are: Time Warner Inc., the world’s largest-media corporation; the German- based Bertelsmann AG, owned by Reinhard Mohn; Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation Ltd., of Australia; Hatchette SA, of France, the world’s largest producer of magazines; and U.S. based Capital Cities/ABC Inc.

While monopolistic power may dominate many other industries, Bagdikian points out that “media giants have two enormous advantages: They control the public image of national leaders who, as a result, fear and favor the media magnates’ political agendas; and they control the information and entertainment that help establish the social, political and cultural attitudes of increasingly larger populations.”

True freedom of information requires three conditions: the opportunity to read and watch anything available; a diversity of sources from which to choose; and media systems that provide access for those who wish to reach their fellow citizens. In democratic countries the first condition is generally met. But the media titans are reducing the scope of the other two everywhere as they take over more and more once-independent companies.

Referring to the 1960 U.N. draft Declaration on Freedom of Information, Bagdikian suggests that it is time for the nations of the world to meet again and make a new Declara­tion of Freedom of Information, this time establishing antitrust principles that will apply at home as well as across national borders. Otherwise, Bagdikian concludes, the basis for all liberty — freedom of information — is in danger of being polluted by a new mutation of that familiar scourge of the free spirit — centrally controlled information.


SOURCE:  THE NATION 72 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011

DATE: 6/12/89



COMMENTS: This is the second time that the issue of media monopolies has been cited as the top censored story of the year. In 1987, the same author, Ben Bagdikian, warned that just 29 corporations controlled half or more of the media business in America at the time. Bagdikian’s latest work points out that this is an international problem and a rapidly grow­ing one. When asked whether he felt the subject received sufficient coverage in the mass media last year, Bagdikian said the issue was reported in the business pages as corporate media projects and acquisitions, but not reported as the spread of a global media network in the hands of a few major players. In fact, Bagdikian added, the press reported the spread of media giants into Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union as developments of unrelieved glory. As an aside, readers should be aware that the press often relegates important issues, which should be of general interest, to special sections, such as business or sports, where they don’t reach everyone they should. Finally, it should be noted that while Bagdikian is a judge, as well as source author, he did not vote on his nominations for 1987 or 1989 (making it all the more difficult for them to be selected as the #1 story).

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