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

School Desegregation Victory in Cleveland, Mississippi

In 2017, after years of litigation, the town of Cleveland, Mississippi, integrated its two historically-segregated public high schools, reported Edwin Rios for Mother Jones. In May 2016, a federal judge had ordered the town to merge East Side High School—which served black students, and was formerly known as Cleveland Colored Consolidated High School—with Cleveland High School, which was founded in 1906 as a “whites only” institution and had since continued to educate majority white students. As Rios reported, Cleveland Central High School now enrolls all of the town’s high school students.

The district’s desegregation in 2017 raises an important question: Given the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, how were Cleveland’s schools able to remain segregated for so long?

A judge ordered the district to desegregate in 1969—15 years after the Brown ruling—but in 2011, a Justice Department review found that the district had “failed to make good faith efforts to eliminate the vestiges of its former dual school system.” As Rios reported, according to UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the federal government began to heavily enforce school desegregation, and the South became “the least segregated in the entire country.” As court oversight of desegregation efforts dwindled, including a series of Supreme Court decisions in the 1990s that promoted state rights over federal regulation, Southern states shifted desegregation backwards sixty years.  “The result nationwide, and especially in the South,” Rios reported, “has been massive resegregation.” (In a June 2017 report for Mother Jones, Rios documented how communities across the US have sought to split existing school districts, ostensibly to exert more direct control over how their children are educated, but with the consequence of worsening “racial and socioeconomic segregation.”)

Corporate coverage of this story was minimal. Only CNN reported on the desegregation of Cleveland’s school system. Interestingly enough, a major portion of the CNN report focused on those who opposed the desegregation of the two schools, such as Jamie Jacks, the school district’s attorney. Jacks believed that the school system had already made great strides in desegregation, despite the federal court ruling in 2011. Mother Jones provided a more comprehensive take, deconstructing the complex narrative driving the integration of the two schools. CNN argued that many of the black students wanted to remain segregated, while many white students wanted to bring the schools together. By contrast, Mother Jones reported that most students sought desegregation. The CNN report also glossed the long-standing legal battles that led to the schools’ integration.

Source: Edwin Rios, “A Mississippi Town Finally Desegregated Its Schools, 60 Years Late,” Mother Jones, November/December 2017, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/a-mississippi-town-finally-desegregated-its-schools-60-years-late/#.

Student Researchers: Cayli Armstrong, Jessica Lovell, and Jenna Mola (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Faculty Evaluator: Allison Butler (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

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