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

7. 60 Billion Pounds of Fish Wasted Annually

Source: MOTHER JONES, Date: July/August 1994, Title: “Special Report: A Farewell To Fish?,” Authors: Peter Steinhart, Hal Bernton, Brad Matsen, Ray Troll, and Deborah Cramer

SYNOPSIS: While the world’s oceans are almost totally fished out and while millions of people starve, the world’s fishing fleets waste about 60 billion pounds of fish and seafood every year-enough for 120 billion meals.

Once upon a time, on a good day in the 1960s, an Atlantic fish­erman could harpoon 30 large swordfish. Today, such swordfish are hardly ever seen. And what has happened to swordfish has hap­pened to hundreds of marine species in just the last 15 years. New England cod; haddock, and yellowtail flounder have declined 70 percent; South Atlantic grouper and snapper, 80 percent; Atlantic bluefin tuna, 90 percent. More than 200 separate salmon spawning runs have vanished from the Pacific Northwest. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization determined in April 1994 that roughly 60 percent of the fish pop­ulations they monitor are fully exploited or depleted.

As large-scale fishing technolo­gies have taken over the world’s oceans, they have become less and less selective in their catch. Fish too small to be taken and species not legally fished are caught, and then thrown overboard to die. Often the catch is tossed overboard because it is too small or too large to be processed on the factory trawlers, which drag large, bag-like nets that scoop up both wanted and unwanted species.

Ironically, the federal govern­ment’s efforts to manage the catch-such as limiting the seasons for different species of fish-has instead led to incredible waste, unsafe fishing practices, and eco­nomic chaos for the industry. Under the “derby system,” the fish­ermen lack the time and financial incentives to try to avoid catching fish that aren’t worth processing or are not legally in season. Last year, the Alaska fleet alone caught 4.2 billion pounds of fish, then dumped a staggering 763 million pounds-seven times more fish than is retained by the entire New England fishing fleet.

The human cost of the disap­pearing fish harvest is considerable. For many it means hunger, since in some countries more than half of the population’s animal protein comes from the sea. Michael Sutton, of the World Wildlife Fund, says “Unlike rhinos, tigers, and bears, when you deplete fish populations, you’re threatening the survival of humanity.”

For many others, it means the end of a way of life. The collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery put 40,000 people out of work; increased risks to the Alaska fleet led to the deaths of more than 165 fishermen off Alaska in the past six years.

And the problem is worldwide. For example, in the Philippines, as traditional fishing by net and spear yields smaller and smaller returns, divers stay down 150 to 200 feet for hours, breathing air pumped through hoses, in hopes of spearing a profitable catch. In some villages, paralysis and brain damage caused by submersion at such depths is now a common affliction.

Environmental author Peter Steinhart warns that by continuing to deplete the ocean’s productivity, we risk hunger, poverty, dislocation, and war. The solution, he suggests, is a set of international agreements binding all nations to a common set of rules that will reduce the size of the world’s fishing fleet, set new limits, and enforce them.

SSU Censored Researcher: Dan Tomerlin

COMMENTS: Sarah Pollock, pro­ject editor at Mother Jones, said that the problem addressed in the “Farewell to Fish” special report ­the serious decline of the world’s fisheries-received a brief flurry of attention in the mainstream media in 1994, much of it after and in response to the Mother Jones cov­erage. However, she added, “the mainstream media continue to neglect what’s happening in Alaska, where the spoils of one of the remaining great fisheries are being divided by competing and powerful interests.”

Noting that fish are the last of the world’s wild food, Pollock said, “Most people think the ocean is boundless, and few have any idea of the amount of waste involved in the annual fish harvest. If they knew how rapidly we’re depleting the oceans, with little or no regard to a sustainable future, they would be up in arms to demand better controls on commercial fishing and elimination of waste.”

While the short-term interests of some huge food conglomerates are served by the lack of media cov­erage, Pollock points out, “Sadly, in the long run, no one’s interests will be served if we run out of fish.”

Pollock also explained the efforts the publication made to bring greater attention to its report on the fish crisis. In addition to the 150 key press contacts who regularly receive advance copies of Mother Jones, they sent copies of the story to more than a hundred additional reporters who cover fisheries for major papers, magazines, and trade journals; they sent 50 advance copies to The Marine Fish Conserv­ation Network in time for a focused lobbying effort; they worked closely with the Washington office of Fish Forever which distributed nearly 300 copies of the issue to members of the press, politicians, and activists; and supplied Gerry Studds (D-MA), chair of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, his aides, and members of the com­mittee with copies of the issue.

On December 8, 1994, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. Commerce Department had closed three prime fishing grounds off New England, about 6,600 square miles of ocean, to virtually all commercial fishing. Rollie Schmitten, director of the depart­ment’s National Marine Fisheries Service, said the action was taken in an effort to rebuild depleted stocks of cod, haddock and flounder. The closure will be in effect at least until March 12, 1995, when it might be extended. As noted above, the Mother Jones article pointed out that New England cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder had declined 70 percent in the last 15 years.

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