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

12. ALL THE NEWS THAT MAKES A PROFIT

Two major but unpublicized trends in the newspaper industry raise serious questions about the diversity of source of information available to the American public and the objectivity of the information that the public does receive.

One concerns the increasing monopolization among newspapers and the other concerns interlocking directorates — the links newspapers have to institutions they are supposed to cover objectively.

Today there are an estimated 1,500 cities in the United States with daily newspapers … but only forty with competing newspaper managements. Of all cities with newspapers, 97.5 percent have newspaper monopolies.

And the 50 largest newspaper chains in the U.S. now account for more than two-thirds of all daily newspaper sales.

Further, in 22 cities, so-called competitive dailies have quietly merged virtually all of their advertising, printing and business operations. This is a result of the 1970 Newspaper Preservation Act which allows major dailies in the same city to ignore anti-trust laws by combining their non-editorial functions.

One of the most recent such mergers was between the St. Louis Globe Democrat, owned by the Newhouse chain, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch, owned by the Pulitzer Publishing Company, which agreed to share business operations in April, 1979, and to split the profits on a fifty-fifty basis.

Critics contend that under such arrangements there is no incentive for newspapers to improve their editorial operation since they will only have to share the profits with someone else in the end.

The alarming trend toward monopolization led Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-N.Y.) to call for a series of hearings in early 1980. LaFalce said “I am concerned over the recent wave of mergers and acquisitions in the United States mass media field and wish to take an in-depth look at the apparent trend toward greater concentration in media ownership.” His hearings, which started on January 21, 1980, have not been widely publicized.

At least one solution to the problem has been advanced by media scholar Ben Bagdikian. He called for forced divestiture of some of the newspapers owned by large corporations, saying it could be done without infringing on the First Amendment’s free press guarantee.

An equally ominous sign for the future of an open press is the extraordinary number of official linkages between newspapers and large corporations.

A major study, reported in the Columbia Journalism Review last year but not reported widely elsewhere, revealed that most of the 290 directors of America’s 25 largest newspaper companies are tied to institutions the papers are supposed to cover. (Financial aid for the study was provided by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.)

The directors of these newspaper companies sit on the boards of regional, national, and multinational business corporations; are partners or directors of banks, insurance companies, and corporate law firms; serve on the boards of chambers of commerce, hospitals, universities, charities, and foundations; and some have held high federal office or have served in state or local government.

Twenty-four of the directors also are members of either the Council on Foreign Relations and/or the Trilateral Commission, both little-known but powerful policy-setting elite groups established by David Rockefeller. Three members of the latter two groups also are members of the Business Roundtable, called the “most powerful secret lobby” in Washington, another nomination for the “best censored” stories of 1979.

The potential dangers of such interlocking, directorates was highlighted by a 1978 study of 130 of the nation’s largest corporations by a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Calling for congressional action, the subcommittee concluded: “These patterns of director inter­relationships imply an overwhelming potential for antitrust abuse and possible conflicts of interest…”

One problem of interlocks for the mass media, cited most frequently by reporters, is that of self-censorship.

Investigative journalist Mark Dowie, who broke the Pinto story in Mother Jones in 1977, said the story was available all along to reporters who knew how and where to look for it. But Dowie remembers how long it took most newspapers to follow up — “All they wrote was the company line, if they wrote anything at all.”

The lack of media coverage given to increasing monopolization and interlocking corporate directorates in the press qualifies this story for nomination as one o£ the “best censored” stories of 1979.

SOURCES:

Columbia Journalism Review, Nov/Dec 1979, “Interlocking Directorates, by Peter Dreier and Steve Weinberg; St. Louis Journalism Review, June & Aug/Sept 1979; The Progressive, June 1979, “The Media Monopolies,” by Ben H. Bagdikian; AP, San Rafael Independent Journal, CA, Dec. 14, 1978, “Forced Newspaper Divestiture Urged.

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