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“[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
“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 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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.)
“[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 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 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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
“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.
“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
“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.
“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.

Digital Justice: Internet Co-ops Resist Net Neutrality Rollbacks

More than 300 electric cooperatives across the US are building their own internet with high-speed fiber networks. These locally owned networks are poised to do what federal and state governments and the marketplace couldn’t. First, they protect open internet access from the internet service providers (ISP) that stand to pocket the profits from net neutrality rollbacks that the Trump administration announced last November. Second, they bring affordable, fast internet access to anyone, narrowing the digital divide that deepens individual and regional socioeconomic disparities.

In Detroit, for example, forty percent of the population has no access of any kind to the internet. Because of Detroit’s economic woes, many Big Telecom companies haven’t thought it worthwhile to invest in expanding their network to these communities. Internet connectivity is a crucial economic leveler without which people fall behind in schools, health, and the job market.

In response, a growing cohort of Detroit resident has started a grassroots movement called the Equitable Internet Initiative, through which locals are build their own high speed internet. It started with enlisting digital stewards—locals who were interested in working for the nonprofit coalition. Many of these stewards started out with little or no tech expertise, but after a 20-week-long training, they’ve become experts able to install, troubleshoot, and maintain a network from end to end. They aim to build shared tools like a forum and a secured emergency communication network—and to educate their communities on digital literacy so people can truly own the network themselves.

Detroit isn’t the only city with residents who aim to own their internet. Thirty of the 300 tribal reservations in the US have internet access. Seventeen of these tribal reservation communities in San Diego County have secured wireless internet access under the Tribal Digital Village initiative. Another local effort, Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, which was originally established in 1939 to brings electrical power to central Missouri farms, has organized to crowdfund the money necessary to establish its own network. By 2014, members enjoyed connection speeds in the top twenty percent of the US, and the fastest in Missouri. By 2016, Co-Mo’s entire service area was on the digital grid.

Co-ops looking to expand the internet may face political setbacks. In his move to dismantle net neutrality rules, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has made it clear he does not consider the internet a utility, which is how these co-ops are treating it. The biggest dilemma for cities is that there has been an erosion of the capacity for communities to solve their own problems. Yet as success stories travel and inspire other communities to ask how they can do the same thing. As a result, local internet service providers are bringing the power back to their people.

While Motherboard, YES! Magazine, the Nation, and Vice have reported on internet cooperatives, there is no news coverage about this story in corporate media, except for an August, 2016 article in the New York Times on how the Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative built its own fiber-based internet.

Sources:

Kaleigh Rogers, “Rural America Is Building High-Speed Internet the Same Way It Built Electricity in the 1930s,” Motherboard, December 1, 2017, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/ywnz37/electric-coops-internet-america-cooperatives-broadband.

Kaleigh Rogers, “Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit’s Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet,” Motherboard, November 16, 2017, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/kz3xyz/detroit-mesh-network.

Sammi-Jo Lee, “How Internet Co-ops Can Protect Us from Net Neutrality Rollbacks.” YES! Magazine, November 22, 2017, http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/how-internet-co-ops-can-protect-us-from-net-neutrality-rollbacks-20171122.

Student Researcher: Amber Yang (San Francisco State University)
Faculty Evaluator:
Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)

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