FIVE WAYS TO FLEX YOUR MEDIA LITERACY MUSCLES

by Project Censored

 By Andy Lee Roth and Project Censored

1.  Cut “Junk Food” news from your media diet. If you rely on corporate news, replace one or more of your usual news sources with independent journalism. Try this for two weeks and decide whether you are better informed. See “Independent News Sources” at the list of independent news sources.   

2.  Follow the money. Corporate news is driven by advertising revenues and shaped by patterns of media ownership. For the news you consume, ask: What economic interests shape this content? The Columbia Journalism Review maintains a database of media ownership at the database on media ownership.

3.  Ask: “Who is treated as newsworthy?” With rare exceptions, establishment journalists rely exclusively on government and corporate officials as news sources. This means elites tend to be the sources and the subjects of most corporate news. For news stories you follow, track who gets quoted as newsworthy sources. Do these sources represent the full diversity of people with relevant information and perspectives on those stories?

4.  Resist “News Inflation.”  We have access to more news than ever before, but it seems to be worth less and less. Project Censored fights news inflation by highlighting important and credible news stories that corporate media either ignore or cover partially. For direct access to “the news that didn’t make the news,” visit our Validated Independent News page.

5.  Seek out & support “Solutions Journalism.”  Corporate media often ignore stories involving good news. However, the news and information that we need in order to fulfill our duties and our potential—as family members, community members, and citizens—includes not only stories of power and its abuses, but also exemplars of human activity, relationships and institutions at their very best. See, for example, the Solutions Journalism Network’s Story Tracker and the Foreword to Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times, by YES! Magazine’s Sarah Van Gelder.


Project Censored Mission & Accolades

Since 1976, Project Censored has educated the public about the importance of a truly free press for democratic government. We expose and oppose news censorship and we promote independent investigative journalism and critical media literacy.

  • Naomi Wolf calls Project Censored “a lifeline to the world’s most urgent and significant stories.”
  • Unflinching. Well-documented. With mounting threats to democracies around the world, we need books like this one now more than ever.” Aaron Delwiche, professor of communication and editor of PropagandaCritic.com, on State of the Free Press | 2021.
  • Howard Zinn said, “The systematic exposure of censored stories by Project Censored has been an important contribution.”

Three ways to support Project Censored

1.  Nominate a News Story. We invite supporters to bring underreported stories to our attention. Follow this link for nomination guidelines.

2. Share our books and documentary film. Buy one to give a friend or family member. Donate a copy to your local public or school library. Purchase titles here.

3.  Make a Tax-Deductible Donation. Project Censored is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We depend entirely on individual donors to continue our work. You can make a one-time donation or sign up as a monthly supporter here.

Download a 1-page version of “Five Ways to Flex Your Media Literacy Muscles” in PDF format.