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“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.)
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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.
“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
“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
“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.
“[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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.
“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
“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] 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
“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.
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“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney

1. Multinational Corporations Profit From International Brutality

Table “Corporation Crackdowns: Business Backs Brutality”
Source Dollars and Sense, May/June 1999
Author Arvind Ganesan
Faculty Evaluator Albert Wahrhafitig Ph.D.
Student Researcher Cassandra Larson & Melissa Bonham

In the name of commerce, huge multinational corporations collaborate with repressive governments, and in the process, support significant human rights violations. Corporations often argue that their presence and investment will improve human rights. This practice is referred to as “constructive engagement”. Major international energy corporations such as Mobil, Exxon, Enron, and UNOCAL have engaged in major business ventures in countries known as major human rights violators. Major U.S. governmental grants, as well as corporate capitol investment, have funded the suppression of media, political opposition, and personal rights in Turkmenistan, India and Burma. The myth of “constructive engagement” has failed to improve human rights, and yet has been endorsed both by international corporations and the U.S. government. Since the release of this information, BP Amoco and Statoil have taken positive steps toward addressing human rights issues. Programs are being developed in the U.S. and abroad to deal with the conduct of energy companies globally.

Coverage 2000

From looking at the mainstream media coverage this past year, it would seem as if the big-name oil companies had begun to take responsibility for their actions. But things are not always as they seem. Thanks to the Internet and its ability to publish information quickly and globally, environmental and human rights activists were able to make issues known faster than previously to a larger number of concerned people. In an internet-enabled world, a big-name brand can be sullied almost overnight. This fact, combined with community demonstrations against corporations and media discussions of corporate actions, caused many multinationals to “spin” their companies and add environmental and community-involvement agendas to their overseas policies.

Take Royal Dutch Shell, for example. In an article in The Washington Post, the corporation claimed that, because of their recent losses in court disputes and public knowledge of their human rights abuses overseas, they had adopted a new code of ethics for dealing with repressive governments. However, a senior Shell executive, who refused to be identified, said that Shell’s policy is now withdrawal from communities where trouble follows their presence, not for any stated humanitarian reasons but because of their fear of repressive governments. In the spirit of “constructive engagement,” Shell claims to also be fostering human relations with people in the communities where they are involved by sponsoring development projects, providing schools, and giving drugs to hospitals. They have also allowed activist groups to become involved in their planning process and now publish an environmental annex to their annual report.

In a July U.N. meeting, chief executives from 50 multinational corporations, including BPAmoco and Royal Dutch Shell, met with environmental organizations to pass the U.N. Global Compact. The compact lists universally recognized and specific labor, human rights, and environmental policies to which the corporations promised to adhere.

Yet it is doubted by some whether the Global Compact will realize any real changes. According to Phyllis Bennis, an analyst at the Institute of Policy Studies, the pact “…allows some of the world’s biggest violators of core rights to use the U.N. logo to blue-wash their image.… There is no enforcement mechanism. The human rights and labor organizations that participate in the compact don’t even play a monitoring role.” Many key advocacy groups in the fight against corporations, including Greenpeace International, refused to participate in the process.

While the mainstream news sources focused on corporate attempts to “blue-wash” their images, alternative, industry, and foreign news services continued to document human rights and environmental violations. EarthFirst! reported on almost daily widespread oil spills in Nigeria despite Shell’s promise to correct environmental mistakes. Dispute continues over whether or not the problems are due to aging pipelines or sabotage from project protestors. And with a key court case against it dropped, Enron has moved forward with its controversial project in Turkmenistan.

The mainstream media, in fact, has well nigh ignored Enron’s environmental and human rights activities, even domestically. In a flagrant disregard for environmental issues, it is allowed to continue to operate a highly polluting Houston methanol plant because of a grandfather clause in the 1971 Texas Clean Air Act that former Texas governor and now-president George W. Bush extended in 1999. Enron, curiously enough, was the biggest financial backer of the Bush campaign-this does not bode well for the future regulation of the petroleum industry abroad.

Sources: Oil and Gas Journal, November 1, 1999, “Petroleum and Human Rights: The New Frontiers of Debate,” by John Bray; The Progressive, September 2000, “Meet Enron, Bush’s Biggest Contributor,” by Pratap Chatterjee; EarthFirst!, September/October 2000, “Nigerian Military Opens Fire on Youths After Shell Oil Spill,” by Felix Tuodolo; Houston Chronicle, January 28 & November 18, 2000; Newsweek, January 31, 2000, “Ubiquity and its Burdens,” by Michael Hirsh and Kenneth Klee; The Washington Post, July 27, 2000.

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