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“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“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.)
“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.
“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 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] 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
“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.
“[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
“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
“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.
“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
“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 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

Balancing Gentrification by Expanding Common Places

For decades, the “Philadelphia Story” was about steady economic decline, gentrification, and stark differences—rich vs. poor, black and brown vs. white— all common problems in cities across the US. Refusing to accept these disparities as inevitable, three years ago local leaders formed the “Reimagining the Civic Commons” initiative, as Jay Walljasper reported for YES! Magazine.

The focus of this community experiment was civic engagement, helping residents create new community centers and parks and making the community more inviting for everybody, not only its newer, wealthier residents. Based on this successful effort Philadelphia launched an expansion called “The Rebuild” with $500 million dollars dedicated to reinvigorating the city’s parks, libraries, playgrounds, and recreation centers.

Young people and immigrants from other nations have moved to Philadelphia in droves, realizing they can enjoy the same kind of urban amenities as New York, Washington D.C., or Boston. “We have one of the highest infusions of millennials coming here, but also some of the highest rates of poverty and economic segregation,” Parks Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell says. Philadelphia’s comeback has been limited to certain parts of town, yet the city continues to rewrite the all-too-common story of gentrification, which divides and fragments the community, pushing lower-income people away.

Engaging the whole community is the heart of civic commons work. It’s the unmined gold in our cities—a grassroots, ground-up way of working to reflect what all the people want. You don’t just invest in the places, but in the people. This takes the idea of engagement to a new level—the city and the community agree on the unique needs of these places where people come together across their differences. “Studies show how better public spaces improve crime and economic development,” adds Lovell, the parks commissioner. “When you make a place more inviting, it helps out local businesses, it creates healthier communities, it changes the way people relate to one other.”

Philadelphia suggests a number of lessons for other cities seeking similar success. First, experiment with the community—showing the community that things are actually happening. Second, identify tomorrow’s leaders, who can help inspire others to join and get involved. And third, make sure community involvement is strong by supporting relationships across generational, economic and racial differences.

The idea is not doing something for the community, it’s with the community. No one walks away when the last brick is laid. They own it, and they are the people who will protect and steward these projects going forward. Never underestimate the power of civic engagement.

Source: Jay Walljasper, “Philadelphia’s Alternative to Gentrification Spreads Opportunity to All Corners,” YES! Magazine, Jun 13, 2017, http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/philadelphias-alternative-to-gentrification-spreads-opportunity-to-all-corners-20170613.

Student Researcher: Malcolm Pinson (San Francisco State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)

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