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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.)
“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
“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
“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 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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“[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
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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 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.
“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
“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 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.


Africa, already suffering from poverty, drought, famine, locusts, “contra” wars, and the AIDS epidemic, now appears destined to become the world’s toxic waste dump. Interna­tional sludge dealers have tried to dump U.S. and European waste onto at least 15 African countries, a trend exposed over the last couple of years by European environmentalists but not widely publicized in the U.S.

The need to find a dumping ground is increasingly imperative. Although the U.S. produces an estimated 87 percent of the world’s toxic waste, West Germany exports the most. Switzerland lacks recycling or storage facilities. France, a big waste recycler, had to stop taking in its neighbors waste in 1988 because its recycling facilities were filled to capac­ity with domestic waste.

Until 1988, Europe’s favorite solution to toxic-waste was to incinerate it in the North Sea until the sea died and 63 countries agreed to stop waste incineration in the North Sea as of 1994.

Africa, unfortunately, became a prime target. Geographically, most sub-Saharan countries have vast, sparsely populated territories that are not really controlled by any authority. There is no serious control of Africa’s coastal waters. Populations are still largely illiterate and susceptible to persuasion. African countries lack the experts and facilities to determine the contents of shipments. Finally, the targeted countries are poor, in debt, and in need of the funds Western countries are willing to pay to dump their waste.

Efforts to find dump sites range from crude to sophisticated. A simple approach was taken by Italian dumpster Gianfranco Raffaelli, who found someone in the Nigerian port of Koko happy to rent out his backyard for $100 a month. The yard quickly filled up with 8,000 barrels containing some 4,000 tons of deadly substances, including PCBs, collected from various Italian, Dutch, American, Norwegian, and British companies. When it was discov­ered, Nigeria made dumping toxic waste punishable by life imprisonment.

A more sophisticated approach was promoted by Arnold Andreas Kunzler who was once Idi Amin Dada’s treasurer. Kunzler worked out tentative deals with Angola to build vast chemical-waste incineration plants for the Swiss chemical giant Ciba-Geigy. The con­tracts would bring Angola $2 billion that could be used to build schools and hospitals and to revive the economy. The deal apparently fell through when the two parties could not agree on the terms.

An obscure Gibraltar firm called SESCO got the government of Benin to sign a contract to take up to five million tons of toxic waste per year at an all-time low price of $2.50 per ton. Benin has a foreign debt of some $700 million and no other way to pay it.

The scandalous efforts to dump on Africa led to the 1989 Basel Convention which recognized the “right of every country to refuse to accept toxic waste.” The Organization for African Unity, concerned with having individual countries decide the issue, persuaded the African countries not to sign. But while the African reaction seemed to be a firm “no” to toxic-waste dumping, observers wonder whether it is not merely part of a bargaining process meant to raise the price of becoming the world’s garbage can.


SOURCE: IN THESE TIMES, 2040 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60647

DATE: 11/8/89



COMMENTS : Investigative author Diana Johnston recently took a position as press repre­sentative for the European Greens in the European Parliament in Brussels and was not available to respond to the “censored” questionnaire. However, Sheryl Larson, managing editor of In These Times (ITT), said there were no media reactions to the ITT story. This sur­prised Johnson since she said ITT considered it one of the more important issues they’ve published. A review of newspaper and periodical indices for the first half of 1990 produced no references to articles about toxic wastes and Africa.

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