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“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.
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“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 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
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“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
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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.)
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Immigrants Subject to “Modern Slavery” at 2022 World Cup Construction Sites in Qatar

In preparation for the 2022 World Cup, immigrant workers in Qatar are being subjected to unethical and life-threatening working conditions, with estimates that hundreds of workers are dying each year as a result, the Guardian’s David Conn reported in September, 2017. The exact number of workers who have died in Qatar as a result of World Cup construction is not known because, as Human Rights Watch has reported, “Qatari public health officials have not responded to requests for information about the overall number and causes of deaths of migrant workers since 2012.”

In November, 2017, Conn wrote a follow-up article for the Guardian stating that FIFA—the international governing body that manages the World Cup—”has been urged by its own advisory board on human rights to press the Qatar government about the impact of the kafala system on workers building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, which campaigners have described as modern slavery”. The kafala system is a sponsorship program that ties workers to one construction company and can confiscate passports and even abuse workers without repercussions.

The FIFA human rights advisory board reported that a “commitment to decent human rights standards” will be in place to protect workers’ health and safety on construction sites. When Human Rights Watch sent FIFA reports of Qatar’s “dangerous climate conditions” and “unexplained deaths of thousands of workers,” FIFA’s response was only a request for “further information about inquiries made into workers’ death”.

Meanwhile, ESPN reported that the International Labor Organization (ILO), a United Nations labor rights agency, recognized improvements in working conditions and labor rights, deciding to end its complaint against Qatar. The ESPN article claimed, without evidence, that the Qatar World Cup “banned companies with stadium contracts from using the kafala system”. The article did not mention how to solve the harsh heat that the immigrant workers face.

Labor rights abuses related to the upcoming World Cup in Qatar have received little or no coverage by establishment media. Only ESPN, a sporting media source, published an article on Qatar’s inhumane treatment of migrant workers; however, the article focused on the positives changes that Qatar has made for the workers, without hard evidence of those changes, and rather than covering the deaths of workers. Details of the workers’ experience of harsh environmental workings conditions, poor pay, long hours, and constant abuse of construction companies were omitted from the ESPN coverage. Meanwhile, alternate sources such as the Guardian and Huffington Post included evidence of research. Furthermore, the length of the alternative source’s article doubles the length of ESPN’s article, which leads to a more informative article that gives the audience greater understanding of issues that establishment media failed to cover.

Sources:

David Conn, “Thousands of Qatar World Cup Workers ‘Subjected to Life-Threatening Heat’,” The Guardian, September 26, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/27/thousands-qatar-world-cup-workers-life-threatening-heat.

David Conn, “FIFA Urged to Press Qatar on Conditions for World Cup Stadium Workers.” The Guardian, November 9, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/09/fifa-urged-press-qatar-improvements-2022-football-world-cup-stadium-workers.

Student Researcher: David Chen (Syracuse University)

Faculty Evaluator: Ellen Fallon (Syracuse University)

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