Tuesday, September 13, 2005

ASSIGNMENT: Project Censored -- the year's 10 biggest ignored stories

We will be dividing up responsibility for reading about the 25 biggest "unreported" stories of the last year --

-- bill densmore

Society of Professional Journalists: "Project Censored: The year's 10 biggest ignored stories

Just four days before the 2004 presidential election, a prestigious British medical journal published the results of a rigorous study by Dr. Les Roberts, a widely respected researcher. Roberts concluded that close to 100,000 people had died in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Most were noncombatant civilians. Many were children. But that news didn't make the front pages of the major newspapers. It wasn't on the network news. So most voters knew little or nothing about the brutal civilian impact of President George W. Bush's war when they went to the polls. That's just one of the big stories the mainstream news media ignored, blacked out, or underreported over the past year, according to Project Censored, a media watchdog group based at California's Sonoma State University. Every year project researchers scour the media looking for news that never really made the news, publishing the results in a book, this year titled Censored 2006. Of course, as Project Censored staffers painstakingly explain every year, their 'censored' stories aren't literally censored, per se. Most can be found on the Internet, if you know where to look. And some have even received some ink in the mainstream press. 'Censorship,' explains project director Peter Phillips, 'is any interference with the free flow of information in society.' The stories highlighted by Project Censored simply haven't received the kind of attention they warrant, and therefore haven't made it into the greater public consciousness.

Source: Camille T. Taiara, The San Francisco Bay Guardian

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