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

21st Century Slavery in Sicily

Threatened with violence, and blackmailed with sexual encounters for job security, Romanian women are facing relentless abuse on Sicilian farms, Annie Kelly and Lorenzo Tondo reported in the Guardian in March 2017. In an effort to escape the bleak reality of extreme poverty in their home country, these women are consciously deciding to expose themselves to such abuse in order to provide for their children and families. In exchange for a wage three times less than what’s required by Italian law, Romanian women are subjected to harsh working conditions, provided dilapidated and unsanitary living arrangements, and risk sexual abuse and exploitation by their employers.

Local police estimate that up to 7,500 women, the majority of whom are Romanian, are living in slavery on farms across the Ragusa region.

Farm and greenhouse owners continue to take advantage of these women’s grim circumstances in order to profit from their produce, while facing little to no repercussions from their actions. While the unfair wages can be attributed to a failure in European Commission policies, the sexual abuse has no justification. Although the physical violence, extensive work days, and continuous rapes are seemingly intolerable, these women feel as though they have no other option. In a life with such scarce opportunities, in which sexual abuse is an unavoidable and fundamental sacrifice for a job, the alternative of unemployment seems far worse.

While coming forward with their experiences, or fleeing these conditions may seem like an alternative, these options do not come without consequences for these women. For those who have come forward about the abuse they’ve experienced, little to no action has been taken as too many economic interests are served by this inhumane business model, and those coming forward have been unable to find work elsewhere. With talk of the reality coming forward, all other farm and greenhouse owners refuse to employ women who have spoken out against their abusers, for fear they may become the next attacker to be outed. Without employment, these women face the possibility of losing custody of their children for failing to provide their most basic needs for survival. With an imperative income taking priority over basic human rights for Romanian women, there is little proof and testimonies to take drastic action against abusers. While outsiders such as clinic workers are able to see evidence of abuse such as the connection between soaring abortions sought out by Romanian women, brought by Italian men, the lack of direct proof does little for working towards justice. Local politicians are working towards providing resources for Romanian women fleeing their employers, but unfortunately the victims far outweigh the services available.

As of March 12, 2017 there has been zero corporate media coverage of the injustice taking place on Silician farms, and Romanian women continue to suffer at the hands of their violent employers.

Source: Annie Kelly and Lorenzo Tondo. “Raped, Beaten, Exploited: the 21st-century slavery propping up Sicilian farming,” Guardian, March 11, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/mar/12/slavery-sicily-farming-raped-beaten-exploited-romanian-women.

Student Researchers: Sam Barrientos (College of Western Idaho) and Chris Bellot (Indian River State College)

Faculty Evaluators: Michelle Mahoney (College of Western Idaho) and Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)

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