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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.)
“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
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“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 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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
“[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
“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.
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“[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
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“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.

11. GDP is Meaningless Economic Measuring Stick

Source: THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY Date: October 1995, Title: “If the GDP Is Up, Why Is America Down?,” Authors: Clifford Cobb, Ted Halstead, and Jonathan Rowe

SSU Censored Researchers: Jeffrey Fillmore, Amber Knight

If measured by growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the economy is booming. Productivity and employment are up, and inflation is under control. Yet 70 percent of Americans feel gloomy about the future. The root of this formidable disconnection, this Atlantic Monthly article suggests, may be found at the base of the aforementioned GDP Indeed, the authors theorize, the whole basis for assessing the status of the economy is absurd, outdated, and insufficient—and that ultimately, we need to re-think our definition of prosperity itself.

The GDP, formerly the Gross National Product (GNP), is a measure of market activity. This means nothing more than the exchange of money between businesses or persons, with no distinction between costs and gain. By the curious standard of the GDP, the happiest event is an earthquake or a hurricane. The most desirable habitat is a multi-billion dollar Superfund site. All of these are a plus according to the GDP, because money is changing hands. The GDP “does not distinguish between costs and benefits, between productive and destructive activities, or between sustainable and unsustainable ones.” The more companies deplete natural resources, the more the GDP increases. “This violates basic accounting principles, in that it portrays the depletion of capital as current income.”

In light of this seemingly illogical and outdated theory, an alternative system of economic measurement has arisen, called the “genuine progress indicator” (GPI), which rather than eliminating the GDP would transform it into a more accurate reflection of the nation’s total economic status.

Some of the new factors that would be included:

o Crime. Money spent on deterring crime or repairing damages from the effects of social decline, including hospital bills, are factored in.

o Other defensive expenditures. They figure in the cost of repairs from accidents, or what people will have to pay for water filters, or air purification systems, or any kind of cost due to an environmental hazard.

o Resource depletion and degradation of the habitat. As companies use up the nation’s minerals and resources, so will it be noted that a loss in capital is occurring. Damage to health, and environmental consequences will count as a negative since the money spent is not on growth, but restoration of what was damaged.

o Loss of leisure. If people have to work two jobs or longer hours just to stay even, then they aren’t really staying even. They are falling behind, losing time to spend with their families, to further their education, etc. The GDP assumes that such time is worth nothing.

In the final analysis, if the nation’s indicators of economic progress are obsolete, then they consign us to continually resorting to policies that cannot succeed because they aren’t addressing the right problems.

COMMENTS: Jonathan Rowe, Clifford Cobb, and Ted Halstead, co-authors of the article, work with the group Redefining Progress. Rowe, speaking on behalf of the group, says the subject of their piece did get some coverage, “but the result was typical of the mainstream media. We were raising basic questions about the way the media and policy establishments measure economic progress and wellbeing—specifically the Gross Domestic Product or GDP. We showed that in a multitude of ways, what the GDP counts as up, Americans experience as down, from family and com-munity breakdown to crime, disease, and environmental decay; and that this phony accounting has a corrosive effect on public policy. A few major outlets covered the story, mainly because we had devised an alternative to the GDP which provided a concrete number and therefore ‘news.’ But they quickly reverted to their old ways. The GDP continues to be a totem of economic reportage, cited with reverential awe. Politicians promise to boost the GDP, and nobody thinks to ask what exactly this boost is going to consist of and how it will affect us.

“There is a large and increasing gap between ‘the economy’ that the media reports on and the one people actually experience. We were trying to get reporters to ask the simple and obvious question that would begin to bridge that gap-a question reporters used to learn on the police beat. If the local police chief announced that ‘activity’ on the city streets was up 10 percent over the previous year, reporters would demand to know what exactly he or she was talking about: muggings or tree plantings, car thefts or acts of neighborliness and kindness, whatever. Unless you know what the 10 percent increase consists of, the gross statistic says nothing at all.

“The GDP is much the same. It is simply a gross statistical summation of monetary transactions in the economy. It says absolutely nothing about whether life is getting better or worse.

“That the media refuses to see this comes in part from changes in the sociology of the newsroom. Reporters used to work their way up from the police beat; they had a degree of skepticism regarding official statistics and academic experts. Today, by contrast, economic reporters increasingly come not with local reporting experience, but with academic credentials and degrees. Management seeks such people out. Yet they often are so immersed in the language and conceptual apparatus of conventional economic thinking-they so identify with the experts that they continually quote-that they become incapable of asking the simple and obvious questions that most need to be asked.

“If reporters asked these questions—i.e., exactly what is growing, who is benefiting and who isn’t, and what is the effect of that growth upon ourselves, our kids, and grandkids it would open up whole new arenas of economic debate that currently are stifled because of the implicit media blackout on any skeptical thinking regarding the GDP and the assumptions on which it is based.

“Beyond that, of course, major business and financial interests (the latter in particular) might be inconvenienced by greater skepticism regarding the GDP Such skepticism would lead to greater scrutiny of what actually is expanding in the economy; the awe that surrounds the GDP casts a halo upon everything that goes into it-gambling, cigarette sales, the depletion of natural resources, whatever. A few business leaders have come to realize that false national accounting will ultimately lead their companies and the entire economy into a big dead end, but such people are still a minority.”

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