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

Human Trafficking of Domestic Workers in the United States

Every year thousands of people, most of them women, emigrate from the Philippines to the United States. Unbeknownst to them, many will end up living in slave-like conditions. Rampant poverty, unemployment, and violence in the Philippines push many to seek a better life abroad. Many emigrate to the US with pre-arranged contracts as domestic workers. Unfortunately, as Abby Martin reported for “Empire Files,” their employers often ignore these contracts and immediately subject these migrant workers to heinous conditions.

Bosses are known to reduce migrants’ salaries below minimum wage, force them to work twenty-four hours every day, and restrict them to poor living conditions. Employers attempt to keep their abused migrant workers in line with threats, withholding payments, confiscating their passports, and inflicting physical and sexual violence. Those who escape are threatened with deportation by their former employers.

For her “Empire Files” reports, Martin interviewed former migrant workers turned slaves. One survivor, Lydia Catina, was invited to become a missionary for a church in the United States and was promised a five-year visa, but she ended up employed as a domestic worker for some of the church leaders instead. Catina worked for three years without receiving any days off, any wages, a green card, or any way of contacting her friends and family. She later managed to escape her employers, who had threatened to have her deported if they ever found her.

Migration to the Philippines is driven partly the legacy of the the country’s Labor Export Policy which dates back to the 1970s. Under the leadership of military dictator Ferdinand Marcos, that policy systematically encouraged the export of contract labor in an attempt to counter the nation’s escalating rate of unemployment its balance of payments crisis.

Martin also interviewed interviewed Linda Oalican, a former domestic worker who is now the director of Damayan–a group that empowers migrant workers. Oalican told “Empire Files” that many women have reported working years without pay, being forced to sleep in tight, unfurnished places with multiple people, and be starved/physically abused. A majority of these employers are diplomats and people of high status. Diplomats have more protection than most and benefit from broad interpretations of “diplomatic immunity.” Diplomatic immunity bars workers from claiming legal rights in court, providing diplomats with what amounts to a free pass to mistreat them deliberately and without penalty. Other employers are politicians or those with enough wealth and fame to avoid accountability for mistreatment of workers.

Partly for these reasons, the corporate press has given little coverage of the plight of migrant workers. One notable exception, a report broadcast by NBC News in July, 2017, focused on the case of a woman who came from Kyrgyzstan to Texas through an arranged marriage. This report, titled “What Happens to Foreign Human Trafficking Victims in the US,” did not cover trafficking from the Philippines or diplomatic immunity, however.  In January 2018, Newsweek published an article on illegal massage parlors and sex trafficking, based on a report produced by an anti-slavery non-profit, Polaris.


Abby Martin, “Buying a Slave – The Hidden World of US/Philippines Trafficking”, Empire Files (Telesur English), May 16, 2017,

Abby Martin, “The Roots of the Philippines Trafficking Epidemic”, Empire Files (Telesur English), June 20, 2017,

Student Researchers: Ronydjah Tillery (Diablo Valley College) and Lerret Jackson (University of Vermont)

Faculty Evaluators: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College) and Robert Williams, Jr. (University of Vermont)

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