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“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
“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.)
“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.
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“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
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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
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Goldman Prizewinner Sentenced to 21 Years for Resisting Foreign Mining, State Corruption, and Genocide in Mongolia

Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, a Mongolian activist working to defend indigenous herder nomads from the effects of mining operations, was sentenced to 21 years and six months in prison, along with five other leaders from the Mongolian environmental and human rights coalition Fire Nation, Keith Harmon Snow reports. The leaders were arrested while protesting the government’s failure to keep mining in check and plans for dismantling for indigenous land protections. Many have labeled what’s happening to the nomads as genocide.

Mongolia first opened up to mining in the early 1990s after it transitioned away from being communist, and government corruption has been fueled by the profits from mining. Despite a 2009 law that limits where mineral exploration and mining operations are permitted, mining companies have flouted the law with impunity, resulting in destruction of indigenous pastureland, watersheds, and the rapid erosion of indigenous livelihoods and culture. The Fire Nation coalition sought to call attention to the corruption through peaceful protest and symbolic violence (e.g., they shot arrows at the Parliament building with herders’ bows).

In September 2013, the government proposed amendments to weaken the 2009 law, prompting a mass protest by Fire Nation. Munkhbayar and ten other protesters were arrested, supposedly in response to the firing of a rifle (though video evidence showed that security had already tackled protesters when the shot was heard). Civil society leaders declared that state agents framed the protestors. Four protesters were released, but on January 21, 2014, Munkhbayar and five others were sentenced. During their trial, evidence was suppressed and facts were ignored. The six were interrogated in harsh conditions in detention cells. The same day as the sentencing, the parliament passed tax law amendments to reduce taxes on gold mining companies.

In 2007, Munkhbayar was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for work defending the planet and indigenous peoples. However, the Goldman Fund increasingly distanced themselves from Munkhbayar, the more he stood up for Mongolia and its peoples’ rights. The Asia Foundation, which had lobbied the Goldman Fund on his behalf, called him a “terrorist.” Both the government and media in the country have portrayed the activists as terrorists. NGOs believe other methods, such as the deliberate currency devaluation, have also been used to demonize them.

Source: Keith Harmon Snow, “The Bare Naked Face of Capitalism: Goldman Prizewinner Gets 21 Years for Resistance to Genocide,” Salem News, February 6, 2014, http://salem-news.com/articles/february062014/mongolia-genocide-khs.php.

Student Researcher: Noah Tenney (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)

Project Censored 2014
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