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

School Data Profiteering

How far will corporations go to make a profit? They have no shame in manipulating other organizations and societies to make money. Corporations have gone as far as using education to make a profit. inBloom, a non-profit organization, has begun to test new cloud-based software that will collect students information from their school records with the mindset of individualizing the education of each student. Although inBloom is non-profit, it has a long list of corporate partners. The corporations get access to view student data and use it as they see fit, in return for their partnership. The information inBloom collects goes further than the students school history; it is now digging into the student’s personal information. For example the data inBloom collects includes teen pregnancy and foster care. inBloom supports education reforms such as greater reliance on standardized testing and merit-based pay, both of which are unpopular with teacher unions. Not only are these corporations violating student privacy, they are not allowing consent from the parents or an option to opt out of the data collection. At what point will corporations realize that what they are doing is wrong?

Dan Schneider, “School Data Profiteering. Data-collecting software is riling privacy and education activists.” Dollars & Sense, May/June, 2013.

Student Researcher: Michelle Barnett, Indian River State College

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College


Usually students’ permanent records show grades and disciplinary problems. But how would they feel if their permanent records included personal information such as divorced parents or foster care? Starting at the end of 2012, a non-profit organization named inBloom began testing cloud based software to gather information from student records. inBlooms goal is to individualize students’ education. Although a non-profit organization, inBloom is working with for-profit companies to reach their goal. Partnering up with these companies means granting them access to student data to do with it as they please. Is it morally correct to share a student’s personal information? Is it ethical for inBloom and company to use students as a way to make money?

Individualizing student’s education may be a nice idea but not with inBloom’s plan. Incorporating a student’s personal information into their permanent record is not the way to handle this. Not only students, but parents also, are unaware of inBloom’s plan and what the school districts may be doing. “There’s not a single school district that’s allowing parents the right of consent, or to opt out of the program,” Leonie Haimson told Dollars & Sense. Haimson is the executive director of Class Size Matters, an advocacy organization for smaller class sizes. Part of being ethical means not treating any human merely as a means to end but that is exactly what these corporations are doing. They are treating these students as object so that they can make a profit. Haimson also identified the absence of certainty in inBloom’s privacy policy. InBloom’s privacy policy states that the company “cannot guarantee the security of the information” or that the “information will not be intercepted when it is being transmitted.”

The Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), an advocacy group which seeks to decommercialize the lives of American children, also is against what inBloom is doing and has started a campaign against them. Private corporations using students’ information to make a profit worries the CCFC. CCFC associate director Josh Golin said “Unlike school officials who are trained and have specific rules and restrictions about the use of student data, these are huge companies with lots of divisions that this data would be interesting to.” CCFC is working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Massachusetts Parent Teachers Assocation (PTA) to contest inBloom and their plan to exploit students.

Another issue concerns the role teachers would have in this new system. According to Golin “The role of the teacher is to input data, to be a data collector, and to pass on lessons designed by algorithms and apps back to their students. The expertise is in the cloud, not in the teacher.” Would all teachers be required to do this? This makes teachers accomplices in making personal student information available to corporations to exploit.

Corporations will do whatever it takes to make a profit. Is it ethical? No. But they do it anyway. inBloom is a non-profit organization, using corporations who have no problem in making a profit any way possible, to reach its goal of individualizing student education. Parents and students are unable to opt out and therefore have no choice in the matter. It is clearly unethical to exploit students’ private information for profit. Students have much more to fear now that personal information such as foster care and teen pregnancy will be included in their permanent records, which is, in turn, subject to privacy violations by corporations.

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