Fighting Corporate Media and Censorship

by Project Censored
If you agree with us that Project Censored is one of the most important non-profits—unique in its approach to fighting corporate media censorship and propaganda—then perhaps you will consider making a donation or becoming a monthly subscriber during our 2014 Spring Fund Drive. This letter highlights Project Censored’s ongoing programs and our plans for 2015.  Read on below for more detail, but simply put—we need to raise at least $15,000 to continue our work! Please select one of the options below to support Project Censored:

 Here is What You Will Get for Becoming a Project Censored Sponsor Today

Option #1  For any one time contribution of $50 or less you will receive a Project Censored Bumper Sticker


Option #2 For a $75 contribution you will receive a Project Censored T-shirt


Option #3 For a $100 contribution you will receive a Censored 2015 yearbook (September) or DVD Project Censored the Movie


Option #4 For a $150 contribution you will receive a signed copy of Censored 2015 and DVD Project Censored the Movie


Option #5  For a contribution of $250 or more you will receive Censored 2015, Project Censored the Movie DVD, T-shirt & Bumper Sticker


Option #6  For a contribution of $500 you will receive the newest book, DVD, Shirt & Sticker, and special thank you in the Censored 2015 acknowledgement section


Option #7 For a contribution of $2000 you will receive a special screening of Project Censored the Movie for group of your choosing, with post-screening discussion led by Project Censored faculty member.

If you value Project Censored’s advocacy of a truly free press and our mission to arm the public and especially students with the information and media literacy skills necessary to be active, engaged citizens and community members, then please consider making a donation—however small or large—to help us reach our goals. Here is what we are seeking: 2014 Summer Funding Needs (approx. $15,000-$20,000)

  • Expand director’s time to 30 hours/week during completion of Censored 2015  $5000
  • Finish last stages of total web site upgrade & enhanced social media marketing$2500
  • Hire copy editor to support publication of Censored 2015  $2000
  • Expand Campus Affiliates Program to include students from additional colleges and universities $2000
  • Complete and distribute new Project Censored research study, “Law Enforcement Related Deaths in the US: 1997-2013”         $2,000
  • Travel for screenings of Project Censored the Movie across the US $1,500
  • Hiring of summer student interns to help produce original programming Project Censored Radio Show and to conduct outreach to radio stations across the US $1,500
  • Finish transcript preparation for 2015 release of a second, new book, Radical Journalism in the 21st Century     $1,500

As we call on you to act in support of Project Censored’s spring fund drive, two recent news stories exemplify why Project Censored is more important than ever.  Earlier this week, US corporate media informed us that an Army general has upheld the conviction and 35-year prison sentence of whistle blower Chelsea Manning, while on the same day the Pulitzer Prize in public service had been awarded to Barton Gellman at theWashington Post and Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewan MacAskill of theGuardian for their coverage of the U.S. government’s sweeping surveillance programs.  Of course, the Post and the Guardian’s award winning coverage was based on secret documents leaked by NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden.  Like Manning before him, Snowden has been villainized by the corporate media—even as these sources have opportunistically used the documents leaked by Manning and Snowden for news scoops of their own.As contrasts like this make clear, US corporate news remains in a sordid state of affairs—further motivating Project Censored to continue to do all that we can to promote independent journalism, media literacy, critical thinking skills as essential components of democracy.Thanks to your past support, in previous years the Project has grown in ways that extend our positive influence.  We have been screening Project Censored The Movie: Ending the Reign of Junk Food News at film festivals, in community centers, and on college campuses across the country.  We are approaching the fourth anniversary of our weekly radio show on KPFA in Berkeley, part of the national Pacifica Free Speech radio network.  The Project Censored show features original programming with an outstanding array of guests every week, and is now re-broadcast on more than a dozen radio stations around the country. As volunteer co-hosts, Mickey and Peter receive no compensation for their work at KPFA.  Our web master, Adam Armstrong, has recently finished constructed a complete archive of every KPFA Project Censored Show broadcast.  A tremendous resource, this archive is made available free of charge by Project Censored, as a resource for the public and, especially, as a classroom resource for high school and college teachers to use with their students.

We are also working on a book—Radical Journalism in the 21st Century—based on transcripts from some of the best radio interviews, to be released in 2015.  Of course, we continue to produce our annual book, published by Seven Stories Press.  We believe Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People will be one of the best editions in the Project’s long-running series.Our campus affiliates program has also grown.  Started approximately five years ago as the Project sought to expand beyond its original home campus at Sonoma State University, the campus affiliate program now links faculty and students at eighteen college and university campuses across the nation in a collaborative effort to identify important news stories reported by independent journalists and news organizations, but ignored or distorted by the corporate media.  As voting is underway to determine the Top 25 stories for Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People, the ballot includes 237 of our Validated Independent News stories (VINs), representing the collective efforts of 260 students researchers and 49 faculty evaluators, plus nine additional community experts.  The network of professors, students, and community members who contribute to our affiliate research program is a cornerstone of the Project’s mission to educate students and the public in media literacy and the crucial role that a free press plays in democracy.  The affiliates program not only exemplifies how ordinary people can be the media, it is also a unique contribution of the Project: To our knowledge, no other media watchdog organization in the US has a larger, more systematic student-training program than Project Censored.

The campus affiliates program is now stable at its current size but, given our current budget, we are at capacity in terms of the number of participating campuses we can coordinate.  Though faculty from additional college and university campuses have expressed interest in joining our affiliates program, without increased funding we lack the infrastructure to expand the program and meet this demand. One of our great desires, driving the Spring 2014 fund drive, is to develop the additional infrastructure necessary to include more campuses in our affiliates program.  Your financial support will help to make this crucial aspect of Project Censored’s mission possible.

From the campus affiliates program, to the weekly radio show, to the Project Censored documentary, and our forthcoming Radical Journalism book, we at the Project are doing all that we can to promote public understanding of the importance of a free press and free speech for democracy.  Nevertheless, it’s a struggle in terms of people power.  That’s mostly due to the fact that we have been less vocal about how much of our work is accomplished on a shoestring budget or a volunteer basis.  The only aspect of Project Censored that has not been growing is our funding. This needs to change if we are to continue challenging the top-down, corporate-managed news propaganda and truth emergency that our nation faces.

The Project’s finances are such that we have no administrative staff support except for our web master and a part-time bookkeeper.  Put another way, we have no staff to assist in the everyday activities such as handling routine correspondence, fulfilling orders for books and DVDs, and maintaining databases of our supporters and affiliates.  Mickey, Andy or I currently handle all this.  With additional funding we would aim to hire part-time support during our most busy annual period, from April-July, so that the three of us might better focus our efforts on the substantive work of authoring and editing the annual Censored book.

Project Censored receives no funding from corporations, major foundations, or universities. We rely almost exclusively on support from personal donors, monthly subscribers, and book sales.  So we graciously ask you to help us in any way or amount that you can, so we can meet our goals as we go into our busiest time of year, working to finish Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People.

Thank you for considering our appeal.  Your support provides us the financial boost we need to continue to fight censorship, deconstruct propaganda, and support fearless speech in fateful times.  We will repeat this appeal via e-mail two times a week for three weeks, or until we reach our fund drive goal. Your early support is especially appreciated.

In solidarity,

Peter Phillips               President, Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored
Mickey Huff                 Director, Project Censored
Andy Lee Roth            Associate director, Project Censored