Connect With Us

“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 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
“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] 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
“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.)
“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.
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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.
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“[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

“Model” Mississippi Curriculum Leaving Civil Rights Movement Out of School Textbooks

In October 2017, Sierra Mannie wrote an article for the Hechinger Report highlighting the inadequate textbooks in the Mississippi school system and how they are affecting civil rights education.

In 2011 Mississippi adopted new social studies standards. Before then, schools in Mississippi were not required to teach the Civil Rights Movement; and the words “civil rights” were mentioned just three times in the previous standards, as specified in a 305-page document. As Mannie wrote, “The Civil Rights Movement was once a footnote in Mississippi social studies classrooms, if it was covered at all.”

With its 2011 adoption of social studies standards establishing an expectation that students learn civil rights in depth, the state was heralded as a model for other states by the Southern Poverty Law Center. A March 2012 SPLC report stated, “Mississippi’s recent adoption of a Civil Rights/Human Rights strand across all grade levels should be a model for other states” (p. 9). However, as Mannie reported, although Mississippi was intended to be a model system for other states to emulate, an investigation by the Hechinger Report and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that “all of the state’s 148 school districts rely on textbooks published before the model standards appeared as part of their social studies material.”

One textbook, titled Mississippi: The Magnolia State, was published in 2005 and is commonly used throughout the state. This text entirely omits the Civil Rights-era Freedom Riders and the laws that these young activists challenged. By contrast, the textbook references Mississippi’s governor from 1904-08, James K. Vardaman, over sixty times. Vardaman, known as “the Great White Chief,” staunchly advocated the lynching of African-Americans. The 2011 standards did not mention Vardaman once.

Some teachers see this as a problem for children, especially those in school districts closely tied to these historic events. Mannie’s report quoted first-grade teacher Camille Lesseig: “That first year I had maybe one or two white students, so it was overwhelmingly African-American, and here’s this book that doesn’t really acknowledge them at all.” Lesseig concluded, “It would be wrong for me to use that book given the context of where I taught.”

Despite Mississippi’s public education undergoing significant budget cuts in the past two decades, which make it harder to implement the new standards, dozens of teachers have participated in a week-long training program to educate themselves about civil rights history. Located at the state’s Department of Archives and History, this program helps teachers utilize other resources like archived documents to enhance students’ learning experiences in the classroom.

Although Mannie’s report focused on Mississippi, the problem is not confined to that state. Drawing on SPLC data, in 2013 Henry Louis Gates, Jr., wrote that, as of 2011-2012, “only 19 states specifically require teaching Brown v. Board of Education, while 18 states require coverage of MLK; 12, Rosa Parks; 11, the March on Washington; and six, Jim Crow segregation policies.”

As of November 2017, major corporate news outlets have not covered this issue at all. Mannie’s story was reposted by independent news sources and blogs, most notably Truthout, Reveal, and the Clarion Ledger. It is important to note that the Hechinger Report partners with corporate media such as CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post; however, these outlets did not republish Mannie’s story. Although these partnerships exist, the diminished coverage suggests that this story did not coincide with the values, agendas, and missions of these large media corporations. Because this story is so under-reported, it is critical for state legislatures across the country to address these issues surrounding school textbooks in order to contribute to a more well-informed society.

Source: Sierra Mannie, “Mississippi Textbooks Are Keeping Students Ignorant of the Civil Rights Movement,” Hechinger Report, October 1, 2017,

Student Researchers: Zander Manning, Jessica Picard, and Jared Yellin (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Faculty Evaluator: Allison Butler (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Facebook Comments