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

#8 Maternal Mortality a Growing Threat in the US

Each year, more than 65,000 pregnant women in the United States suffer life-threatening complications, including physical and psychological conditions aggravated by pregnancy, and more than 600 die from pregnancy-related causes. Elizabeth Dawes Gay reported that inadequate health care in rural areas and racial disparities are drivers of this maternal health crisis. Nationally, African American women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes, with rates even higher in parts of the US that Gay characterized as “pockets of neglect,” such as Georgia, where the 2011 maternal mortality rate of 28.7 per 100,000 live births was nearly double the national average.

Women’s Policy Inc., a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy organization, hosted a briefing in April 2016 for US maternal mortality experts to address problems and present solutions to a panel of congressional staffers, federal employees, and women’s health advocates. “The U.S. is the only nation in the developed world with a rising maternal mortality rate,” Rep. Lois Capps stated at the meeting. Dr. Keisha Callins identified issues that contribute to the rising maternal mortality rate, including “provider shortages, lack of physical access to care, . . . low educational attainment, poverty, poor access to healthy foods, neighborhood violence and stress.” The prevalence of caesarian section (C-section) delivery is another factor. The World Health Organization recommends that no more than 10–15 percent of births should be C-section deliveries; in the US, one in three babies is delivered by C-section.

Gay described a maternal safety bundle initiative—“best practices, guidelines and protocols to improve maternal health care quality and safety”—that has been developed by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health, or AIM. These “bundles” include “equipping hospital labor units with a fully stocked cart for immediate hemorrhage treatment, establishing a hospital-level emergency management protocol, conducting regular staff drills and reviewing all cases to learn from past mistakes.” (See also Marsha Walton, “Hospitals Train to Track, React to Maternal Bleeding,” Women’s eNews, June 23, 2015.)

Across the US, the number of women who are vulnerable to high-risk deliveries is rising. In addition, doctors rarely warn patients of the potential for serious injuries and complications that can occur following birth, according to a report by Kiera Butler for Mother Jones. Women have a right to make informed decisions about their bodies and serious medical situations; however, when it comes to birth and its aftereffects, Butler found that doctors simply are not providing vital information. Though laws in many states require doctors to inform women of the potential complications and dangers that can occur during delivery, no such laws require doctors to inform about potential long-term problems following delivery, or to share the fact that some complications are more prevalent in women who give birth vaginally than in women who deliver by C-section.

This is a big problem for millions of women, as, according to a 2008 study by researchers at the California HMO Kaiser Permanente, 80 percent of women who suffer from pelvic floor disorders are mothers, and women who delivered vaginally are twice as likely to experience these injuries as women who have had a C-section or who have not given birth. According to Butler’s Mother Jones report, numerous other studies suggest that “50 to 80 percent of women who give birth experience tearing of the pelvic skin and muscles,” and, for more than one in ten women who give birth, these injuries are severe enough to damage the anal sphincter muscle, which can lead to loss of bowel and bladder control. Sexual dysfunction, stress urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse—a chronic and painful condition of the uterus or bladder that often requires multiple surgeries to repair—are some other common conditions more prevalent following vaginal birth than following C-sections, yet doctors rarely discuss these issues with pregnant patients.

Beyond pain and embarrassment, the financial costs of these sometimes preventable conditions are also great. According to Butler, citing the website Healthcare Bluebook, “the typical price for a vaginal hysterectomy, one of the most common fixes for uterine prolapse, is about $14,400, including hospital costs, while a bladder repair surgery for incontinence runs about $28,000.” For those who opt not to have surgery, adult incontinence products can be an equally large strain on the wallet. And companies are cashing in; in fact, Mother Jones reports that the industry is “projected to grow from $1.8 billion in 2015 to $2.7 billion by 2020, and it is expected to catch up to the baby diaper market within a decade.”

The corporate news media have paid limited attention to maternal mortality and morbidity in the US. In 2012, Motherlode, a parenting blog connected with the New York Times, published an article, “An Unspoken Risk of Vaginal Birth,” that noted the extent to which mainstream publications underestimate the number of women affected by serious injuries sustained during vaginal childbirth. In May 2016, a report in the Washington Post addressed the high maternal mortality rates among American women and mentioned a national prevention campaign to avert such deaths. A September 2016 article by Sabrina Tavernise for the New York Times provided good, though brief, coverage of the rising rate of maternal mortality in the US.

Elizabeth Dawes Gay, “Congressional Briefing Puts U.S. Maternity on Exam Table,” Women’s eNews, April 15, 2016, http://womensenews.org/2016/04/congressional-briefing-puts-u-s-maternity-on-exam-table/.

Kiera Butler, “The Scary Truth About Childbirth,” Mother Jones, January/February, 2017, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/childbirth-injuries-prolapse-cesarean-section-natural-childbirth.

Student Researchers: Jane C. Hau (Citrus College) and Hope Matheson (North Central College)

Faculty Evaluators: Andy Lee Roth (Citrus College) and Steve Macek (North Central College)

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