PROJECT CENSORED IN THE CLASSROOM

Critical thinking and media literacy are essential skill sets for students in the 21st century. Teachers who bring Project Censored into their classrooms give their students direct, hands-on opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills and media literacy.

 

Our Academic Education programs are used in traditional classrooms, and homeschooling or other educational settings, to help students of all ages develop media literacy skills and enjoy hands-on experience to enhance that education.

 

Our programs informing the public generally leverage the work of these students to provide education to members of the general public who want to engage with our work, whether as a means to develop their own media literacy skills or as a source for trustworthy independent journalism on topics that are not adequately covered by establishment (“mainstream”) news outlets.

 

 

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TEACHING GUIDES

Project Censored provides educators around the country with resources for teaching media literacy, including workshop opportunities and free, downloadable teaching guides. Teachers who bring Project Censored into their classrooms give their students direct, hands-on opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills and media literacy. Select the appropriate teaching guide below for your classroom.

THE GLOBAL CRITICAL MEDIA LITERACY EDUCATORS GUIDES

The GCMLP implements the outcomes of a critical media literacy education through a service learning pedagogy. Students will be introduced to exercises, experiences, and assignments, which focus on developing student’s classroom engagement, empowerment, critical awareness of media, civic engagement, and adoption of a social justice agenda. All we ask in exchange is that you share these guides with your colleagues at your institution and beyond. Project Censored campus workshops are also available and can be arranged by contacting info@projectcensored.org

Critical Media Literacy For Students

Critical thinking and media literacy are essential skill sets for students in the 21st century. Teachers who bring Project Censored into their classrooms give their students direct, hands-on opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills and media literacy.

 

For college students, researching Validated Independent News stories (VINs) can be a challenging and rewarding assignment that instructors can tailor to fit their courses and students’ needs. Identifying, researching, and summarizing candidate stories will sharpen students’ critical thinking skills (including interpretation, evaluation, and explanation) and enhance their media literacy.

 

Project Censored posts candidate stories accepted as Validated Independent News (VINs) online and subsequently considers these for inclusion among the top 25 stories in our annual book. Both online and in the book, we acknowledge the students and faculty who contribute VINs by name.

 

For guidelines on how to find, evaluate, and summarize Validated Independent News stories, click here.

For both high school and college students, instructors can consider our “Censorship Guide for Teachers: 12 Ways To Use Project Censored In Your Classroom.” We also recommend the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME) resource, “Our 21st Century Media Culture: Eight Shifts.”

How it works

We are dedicated to student education as a means of promoting democracy, freedom of expression, and greater equality in society. The cornerstone of the program—developing students’ critical media literacy through hands-on engagement—involves empowering students to critically assess existing media structures and practices so that they can contribute to the development of an alternative system that better reflects their diversity and serves our common good.

The Campus Affiliates program is currently focused on college-level education and is broken down into two areas: (1) Media Literacy Education and Curriculum Guides and (2) our Campus Affiliates Program. This program connects hundreds of faculty and students at colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world in a collective effort to identify and promote public awareness of important but underreported news topics. 

This project provides educators around the country with resources for teaching media literacy, including workshop opportunities and free, downloadable teaching guides. Teachers who bring Project Censored into their classrooms give their students direct, hands-on opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills and media literacy.

More content coming soon

Content coming soon

  • In addition to the Campus Affiliates Program, which focuses on student research of Validated Independent News stories, the Project also supports direct student engagement in critical media literacy through other research programs that feed into the State of the Free Press yearbook series. These include student research on:

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-Deja Vu News, deeply researched updates on developments in news stories highlighted in previous yearbooks’ Top 25 story lists. The past three State of the Free Press yearbooks have featured Deja Vu news updates, on topics such as microplastics pollution, voting restriction, and free speech issues on college campuses, by student interns from North Central College, working under the guidance of Dr. Steve Macek, chair of the North Central’s Department of Communication and Media Studies. A number of these student authors have gone on to pursue graduate degrees or employment in fields related to their areas of research.

-Junk Food News—building on a term originally coined by the Project’s founder, Carl Jensen, to describe sensational news stories that distract the public’s attention from more substantive and consequential issues, investigations of contemporary examples of “junk food news” compare and contrast “junk” stories with serious stories that took place in the same time frame but which received far less news coverage. The Junk Food News chapter in each yearbook is typically coauthored by students working in collaboration with Project Censored faculty. The experience in writing and publishing the Junk Food News chapter has helped many of these student-authors advance their education or successfully land their first jobs after graduation.

-News Abuse—A counterpart to “Junk Food News,” News Abuse refers to news stories of genuine significance that have been subject to biased interpretation (or “spin”) to the extent that the importance of the story is likely to be misunderstood. Analysis of “news abuse” as a form of propaganda provides students with a concrete way of appreciating the subtle influence of news “framing”—how news reporting directs where and how news consumers focus their attention.

Recent editions of the State of the Free Press yearbook series provide examples of research into Deja Vu News, Junk Food News, and News Abuse that teachers and their students can use as models for their own direct exploration of current news issues.

Professor Testimonials

I love using Project Censored in my classes. When the students begin the process of analyzing independent news stories it is as if a lightbulb has turned on for them and they never look at media the same way again. Susan Rahman, Sociology, College of Marin and Sonoma State University
Susan Rahman, Sociology, College of Marin and Sonoma State University

Susan Rahman, Sociology, College of Marin and Sonoma State University

I have used the Project Censored books in my classes for 20 years. The top 25 Censored stories quickly demonstrate to students that they cannot rely on the corporate media for the accurate information necessary to a democracy. Project Censored lays the foundation for teaching a global analysis of social and environmental justice and the activism required to work for it.
Julie Andrzejewski, Department of Human Relations and Multicultural Education, St. Cloud State University

Julie Andrzejewski, Department of Human Relations and Multicultural Education, St. Cloud State University

“Offering students the same opportunities Project Censored offered me as a student is what motivates me as a faculty adviser.”
Nolan Higdon is a history instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area

Nolan Higdon is a history instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area

Few assignments are as relevant to liberal arts education for the 21st century as Project Censored. According to published reports by the Pew Research Center and others, news consumption among young people is on the decline. Project Censored cultivates student engagement with news, civic affairs, and public policy debates – arguably a cornerstone for rigorous liberal arts training. Project Censored is a unique mechanism for establishing disciplinary connections across campus. Here at DePauw University, students enrolled in introductory media studies courses work collaboratively with faculty and staff whose expertise may be in economics, history, women’s studies, environmental science or conflict studies, among other disciplines. These collaborative efforts demonstrate the potential for student-faculty research—research that not only makes it to publication, but also highlights student agency in counteracting the deficiencies of a dysfunctional journalistic culture. In the parlance of activists and reform-minded critics, Project Censored encourages students and faculty alike to “speak back” to the media.
Kevin Howley, Media Studies, DePauw University

Kevin Howley, Media Studies, DePauw University

Project Censored’s annual yearbook, published by Seven Stories Press, anchors my Alternative Media class, serving not only as a textbook and guide to alternative media, but as an inspiration for my students. This is a designated Service Learning class where students validate censored or underreported stories for Project Censored, which our institution has vetted as a Service Learning partner. Since the vast majority of censored or underreported stories come from alternative media, searching for and validating such stories gives students an intimate familiarity with the breadth of available alternative media sources, making this partnership ideal as a real world tool for teaching about alternative media. The process of discovering an important censored or underreported story, researching and validating it, and seeing it go “global” as a neat package on Project Censored’s website, all before the end of the semester, has proven to be an inspirational and sometimes transformational experience for students. Once a story goes online, students often enthusiastically share the experience on social media, virally sharing what they have learned.
Michael I. Niman, Journalism & Critical Media Studies, State University of New York-Buffalo

Michael I. Niman, Journalism & Critical Media Studies, State University of New York-Buffalo

“I teach courses about media history, media criticism, media law and the First Amendment to college students at a smallish liberal arts college in the Midwest. Project Censored’s annual yearbook has been a required text in my annual upper-level media criticism course for over a decade now. The top 25 list and the recurring essays on ‘Junk Food News’ and ‘News Abuse’ provide ample material for our classroom conversations about the institutional biases of the commercial news media, propaganda and censorship. My students find the essays and news summaries engaging and extremely eye-opening. For the past five years, I have given students in the media criticism class the opportunity to research and write up a Validated Independent News Story (or VINS) as one of the course writing assignments; most of them decide to complete the VINS assignment and several of them have told me how much they enjoyed it. Every year, at least one or two stories submitted by my students have been selected for inclusion in the top 25 and all of them who complete the assignment are excited about being able to participate in the work of the Project.”
Steve Macek, Professor and Chair, Communication and Media Studies, North Central College

Steve Macek, Professor and Chair, Communication and Media Studies, North Central College

Student Testimonials (Coming Soon)