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“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.
“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
“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
“[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
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
“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
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.
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“[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.
“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.)
“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

People Bussed across US to Cut Cities’ Homeless Populations

An investigative report by the Guardian studied homeless relocation plans from major cities and counties across the US. Released in December, 2017, the 18-month investigation recorded 34,240 journeys made by homeless people who participated in a variety of city and county relocation programs between 2011-2017. Relocation programs provide people who are homeless with free one-way bus- or plane- tickets out of a given city.

“Some of these journeys provide a route out of homelessness,” according to the Guardian’s in-depth report. However, “That is far from the whole story.” While programs’ stated goals are to help people, the Guardian noted how relocation schemes “also serve the interests of cities, which view free bus tickets as a cheap and effective way of cutting their homeless populations.”

According to the report, “People are routinely sent thousands of miles away after only a cursory check by authorities to establish they have a suitable place to stay once they get there. Some said they feel pressured into taking tickets, and others described ending up on the streets within weeks of their arrival.”

Most of the people who participated in the relocation programs learned about them through word-of-mouth or from a caseworker. An applicant must provide a contact of a friend or relative that they know in the city to which they intended to travel. However, programs that were investigated did not routinely confirm whether that contact could actually provide shelter assistance to the program participant. Programs were also found to rarely check-in with travelers after they had left their original cities.

In Florida, for example, three cities recorded data on the relationship between the relocated person and their contact in the new city. On average, a relocated person was most likely to stay with their immediate family. The Southernmost Homeless Assistance League, a relocation program in Key West, Florida, requires that applicants sign a contract agreeing that their relocation is permanent. The program denies homeless assistance to people that return after taking a free bus ticket from Key West. This program, the Guardian noted, did not maintain records of the more than 350 people who had left Key West through its relocation services.

The majority (88%) of bussed homeless people were moved to cities with lower median incomes. Cities with a lower median income promise a lower cost of living and potentially affordable housing.

The Guardian analyzed data from 2010-2017 that was provided by homeless relocation programs from 16 major cities and counties across the US. The majority of these were in California, including programs based in Humboldt County, and the cities of Chico, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, and Long Beach. The study included data from four cities in Florida: Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Key West. New York, Phoenix, Portland, Denver, Reno, and Salt Lake City also provided data. From these 16 cities, the Guardian recorded that more than 20,000 homeless people had traveled around the United States as part of homeless relocation programs during the study period.

Data received from San Francisco revealed the enormous statistical impact of that city’s homeless relocation program. In 2005, the city’s homeless population was 6,250, with no travelers bussed out of the city. In 2017, the homeless population was 7,500 with a total of 10,570 homeless people bussed out of the city over the intervening twelve years. The Guardian calculated that without the homeless relocation program, there would have been 18,070 homeless people in San Francisco in 2017. The Guardian noted that these figures did not include homeless people who traveled to or from the city independently of a relocation program, people who became homeless while living in San Francisco, or homeless people who might have found a home during the twelve-year period. From 2010-2015, only three travelers were contacted after relocation. In 2016, a majority of people were contacted, but city officials refused to provide the Guardian with information about those individuals’ current housing status. A homeless person costs the city of San Francisco an average of $80,000 a year, including policing and medical fees.

Portland and Santa Monica were in the minority of cities whose housing programs checked in with homeless migrants. According to Portland officials, 70% of its 416 relocated persons still had housing in their new cities after three months. In Santa Monica, 60% were still housed six months after relocating. However, there was no additional data to check if this housing was designed to be permanent or lasted longer than 3-6 months.

Regardless of limited evidence of whether relocation programs actually achieve their long-term goals, cities use data from them as evidence of aid provided to the homeless population. In San Francisco, the Guardian found that approximately half of the 7,000-homeless people the city has claimed to help were only given bus tickets.

Relocation organizations’ names—such as “Homeward Bound” and “Family Reunification”—can be misleading. Although relocation programs are often marketed as bringing families back together, very few programs ever confirm if a traveler’s standard of living has improved after moving.

The Guardian published its investigation in December, 2017. Its report was covered in detail by Democracy Now!  It was mentioned in passing by the Los Angeles Times, and featured in a four-minute segment on NBC News.  Major broadcast news outlets including Fox News and NPR, have mentioned housing relocation, but often without the kind of systemic, critical perspective taken by the Guardian in its study.  The issue remains largely ignored by the New York Times, USA Today, and the Washington Post.

Sources:

Alastair Gee, Julia Carrie Wong, Paul Lewis, Sambamurthy, Charlotte Simmonds, et al., “Bussed Out: How America Moves Thousands of Homeless People around the Country,” The Guardian, December 20, 2017, www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/dec/20/bussed-out-america-moves-homeless-people-country-study.

Alastair Gee, “America’s Homeless Population Rises for the First Time since the Great Recession,” The Guardian, December 6, 2017, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/05/america-homeless-population-2017-official-count-crisis.

Student Researcher: Izzy Snow (College of Marin)

Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)

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