Connect With Us

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


Electroshock treatment is a form of psychiatric therapy born in the age of lobotomies and made famous in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Electrodes are placed on a patient’s temples and electricity is shot through the brain, inducing an epileptic-like seizure that is sup­posed to cure mental illness. After years of abuse, highlighted by the “dark days” of the 1950s when hospitals turned into “shock mills” and patients were forced to undergo shock treatments that often turned them into zombies, electroshock treatment seemed destined to disappear along with lobotomies.

Today, however, hospitals are secretly bringing back electroshock therapy. To introduce the new shock therapy, now called electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) held a December 1989 press conference where psychiatrists announced ECT has become “safe and effective.” The most significant change is that ECT is now applied to only one side of the brain – the more creative, emotional side – rather than both sides, as in the past.

Proponents say ECT is now on the rise because of its effectiveness. “It’s a life-saver,” says Dr. Glen Peterson, of Providence Hospital, in Oakland, California. “In the face of all the negative criticism, we haven’t been able to get away from the fact that ECT is a very effective treatment.” The hospital’s informational brochure says “ECT is an exceptionally effective medical treatment, helping 90 percent of the patients who take it. Most patients remain well for many months afterwards.”

As ECT returns, the question of brain damage has disappeared from most discussion of the treatment. The APA’s new 217-page report on ECT doesn’t even mention the issue, except to say that doctors needn’t include brain damage as a risk they mention to patients. Meanwhile, former shock patients, patients’ rights advocates and doctors say the treatment doesn’t really cure problems – but may cause some serious ones. “It’s a quick-fix treatment that causes brain damage, but it doesn’t work,” says neurologist John Friedberg of Berkeley, author of the book “Shock Treatment is Not Good for Your Brain.”

Critics charge that one reason that ECT is becoming more popular is because it is im­mensely lucrative. The average ECT patient will stay in the hospital for about a month, at a cost of about $500 a day; when the cost of treatment is added, the bill comes to about $20,000. Insurance companies and Medicare support ECT by paying for longer hospital stays for psychi­atric patients who receive the treatment compared to those on medications or undergoing psy­chotherapy.

To support increased use of ECT, the APA has requested that the Food and Drug Ad­ministration reclassify the machine used to shock patients from Class III to Class II. The shock machine was put in Class III in 1979, after the FDA’s Neurological Device Classification Panel identified eight risks to health in ECT, including brain damage and memory loss. Class II is for low or moderate-risk devices.

Since the APA has been able to maintain a low media profile on its efforts to bring back electroshock therapy, the number of patients receiving such therapy has been on the rise, and it is now estimated that 100,000 people, mostly middle-aged, white females, receive it annually.


SOURCE: THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, 520 Hampshire St., San Francisco, CA 94110-1417, DATE: 4/18/90

TITLE: “Electroshock’s Quiet Comeback”


COMMENTS: Investigative journalist Vince Bielski feels it is important for the general public to know about the resurgence of electroshock therapy because as it becomes “a more common practice, tens of thousands of patients will be receiving shock therapy each year in the U.S., and many won’t have full knowledge of its effects. The psychiatric associations consistently play up its potential benefits (short-term recovery from severe depression) and play down and perhaps cover up its risks (brain damage, learning disabilities and memory loss). The responsibility to inform patients falls on the shoulders of the media and the health advocacy groups. I wrote my story to inform a very vulnerable consumer, the psychiatric patient, and it carried the simple warning, `beware’.” Bielski believes his article in the Bay Guardian was the first to announce the resurgence of shock therapy, although, he added, the New York Times did the story a few months later using several of his sources and even the same headline but it was not as critical of the therapy as Bielski’s. He said that the limited coverage given the issue tended to benefit conservatives in the psychiatric establishment who tend to be the practitioners of shock therapy. “They are on a crusade to convince other psychiatrists and the public that mental illness is a biochemical disorder treated best with electroshock. To this end they have produced popular videos and several articles in magazines touting electroshock. The only real check on this campaign to bring electroshock back is the media, because those who consider themselves victims of electroshock tend to either go into hiding, or if they do speak out, they often lack credibility due to their illness.” As a result of Bielski’s efforts, electroshock therapy is not expected to become a common practice again without at least some public debate. His investiga­tive report sparked a debate among politicians, psychiatrists, and activists whether to ban or restrict the use of electroshock in the city. As Bielski noted “The controversy (resulting in part from his article) … illustrates the important role of the media in exposing potentially harmful activities and forcing politicians to find solutions.”

Facebook Comments