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“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
“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.
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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
“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 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.
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 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] 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
“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
“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.
“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

17. THE ALA’S FIGHT AGAINST GOVERNMENT SECRECY

In 1981, the Washington Office of the American Library Association (ALA) launched “Less Access to Less Information By and About the U.S. Government,” a semi-annual publica­tion which documents Administration efforts to restrict and privatize government information. The document, previously cited by Project Censored (1986 and 1987) continues to be a censored story itself. It contains vital information about the United States government, current policy changes, infringements on the Bill of Rights, and related issues in Congress, yet only a handful of people are aware of this valuable source of information.

The latest addition to this sad ongoing litany of government censorship notes that since 1982, one of every four of the government’s 16,000 publications has been eliminated. And, through two little publicized 1985 directives, the Office of Management and Budget has clearly consolidated its government information control powers.

Another development, with major implications for public access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to utilize computer and telecommunications technologies for data collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend has resulted in the increased emergence of contractual arrangements with commercial firms to disseminate information collected at taxpay­ers expense, higher user charges for government information, and the proliferation of govern­ment information available in electronic format only. While automation clearly offers promises of savings, it is feared that public access will be further restricted for people who cannot afford computers or pay for computer time.

The January to June 1990 issue of the ALA publication reveals another 45 issues that deserved far more attention than they received in the national media. Following is just one example:

Members of the House Government Operations Committee charged that the Bush Ad­ministration is deliberately violating a law that bans funding for an employee secrecy pledge. The pledge has been a battleground for Congress and the Reagan and Bush Administrations since 1983 when the former president issued an order increasing use of nondisclosure agree­ments. In turn, for several years Congress banned funding to disseminate the forms through the appropriations process.

Yet, when President Bush signed the fiscal year 1990 appropriations bill into law, he protested that the section on secrecy forms was unconstitutional and the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) wrote all agencies instructing them to continue using the forms that bind some three million employees and military members to prepublication review of their writings and speeches.

House committee chair Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) repeatedly asked the head of ISOO how the administration decided to “flaunt the law and assert a presidential power to ignore duly enacted statutes.” The ISOO refused to tell Conyers even the names of the officials who partici­pated in the discussions to use the form.

Given the value and import of the information contained in the ALA’s semi-annual publication of “Less Access to Less Information,” one would believe that it deserves at least as much media attention as the annual announcement of the best dressed women of the year.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: TALLY HASTINGS

SOURCE: AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, Washington Office, 110 Maryland Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002

TITLE: “Less Access To Less Information By and About the Government: XIV; a 1990 Chronology: January-December”

CO-AUTHOR: Anne Heanue, ALA Washington Office Associate Director

COMMENTS: Co-author Anne Heanue points out that the issue of less government information “has been treated in a fragmented way in two major daily newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times,” and while they have reported on specific items, “they have overlooked the big story of the erosion of public access to government information over a period of years.” Newsweeklies gave the issue little attention in 1990 while network TV seemed to have ignored the story. “Three years ago,” Heanue said, “ALA member Nancy Kranich of New York Univer­sity Libraries, worked for months with the staff of CBS Evening News to develop a story to be aired on March 16, 1988, Freedom of Information Day, about restrictions on public access to government information. The segment was postponed when Oliver North was indicted that same day. Despite repeated efforts to get the story on the air, it was not shown.” Heanue said the general public should know more about the issue since people “would gain a greater under­standing of the importance of government information: 1) to their informed participation in a democracy; 2) to the general and economic well-being and national security of the country; and, 3) as an essential factor in public awareness of government activities and in the ability of the citizenry to hold the government accountable for its actions.” And, for all those who want to know where to get more information about many of these issues, Heanue added that “Attention could be drawn to the role of the nation’s libraries in providing public access to government information.”

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