Walter Cronkite said "Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to," in order to check on the ethics of other news sources. Their director is Mickey Huff, professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College near San Francisco. He also works with members of the American Library Association planning Banned Books Week. He has been interviewed by ABC, PBS, NPR, Russia Today and some of the world's largest media sources. In this interview with WHDT-9, Huff discusses some of the least-reported news stories of 2013, what happened in the world many Americans may not know about, and how those stories could affect your family as he reflects back at the news stories that weren't.
This year’s annual Project Censored list of the most underreported news stories includes the widening wealth gap, the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning for leaking classified documents and President Obama’s war on whistleblowers—all stories that actually received considerable news coverage.
So how exactly were they “censored,” and what does that say of this venerable media watchdog project?
Project Censored isn’t only about stories that were deliberately buried or ignored. It’s about stories the media has covered poorly through a sort of false objectivity that skews the truth. Journalists do cry out against injustice, on occasion, but they don’t always do it well.
That’s why Project Censored was started in 1976: to highlight stories the mainstream media missed or gave scant attention to. Although the project initially started at Sonoma State University, academics and students from 18 universities and community colleges across the country now pore through hundreds of submissions of overlooked and underreported stories annually. A panel of academics and journalists then picks the top 25 stories and curates them into themed clusters.
The presentation of this year’s Top 25 stories extends the tradition originated by Professor Carl Jensen and his Sonoma State students in 1976, while reflecting how the expansion of the Project to include affiliate faculty and students from campuses across the country and around the world—initiated several years ago as outgoing director Peter Phillips passed the reins to current director Mickey Huff—has made the Project even more diverse and robust. During this year’s cycle, Project Censored reviewed 233 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 219 college students and 56 professors from 18 college and university campuses.