October 2023 Newsletter

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Project Launches Digital Archive of Past Yearbook Chapters

We are excited to announce the launch of a digital archive of chapters from past volumes of Project Censored’s yearbook series. The new web pages feature selections from the Censored and State of the Free Press yearbooks, covering topics such as Déjà Vu NewsJunk Food NewsNews Abuse, and Media Democracy in Action, plus selected case studies and media analyses, dating back to 2007. These valuable resources are now available free of charge to educators, researchers, and the general public on our website.

Kate Horgan, who designed the new web pages, noted: “The addition of this expansive digital archive will act as a vital resource for students, educators, and researchers looking to utilize critical pieces from Project Censored’s publications. We are eager to continue building this resource and offering content that is free and accessible for our supporters.”

Censored Press Happenings: Media and Me Authors Featured at UNESCO Symposium and CMLCA

The UNESCO symposium on Democracy, Global Citizenship, and Transformative Education, which takes place in Quebec, Canada, and online, October 25-27, 2023, will include a panel on Teaching Critical Media Literacy as a Liberatory Practice, featuring Allison ButlerNolan HigdonMickey Huff, and Andy Lee Roth, all coauthors of The Media and Me, and Micah Card, who created the Teaching Guide for the book. The online panel will be live-streamed on Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube from 4:30-5:30 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, October 26th. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Follow this link for more information about the symposium, including how to register (at no charge) for any of the streaming panels.

The Fourth Annual Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas (CMLCA) will be held October 27-29 in Argentina at the Instituto Provincial de Educación Superior “Paulo Freire.” This year’s theme addresses “Advances in Artificial Intelligence: Impacts on Education and Media.” A Project Censored cohort, including Robin Andersenavram andersonAllison ButlerAmy ForbesNolan HigdonMickey HuffSteve Macek, and Andy Lee Roth, will present a virtual panel on Censorship, Digital Media and the Global Crack Down on Freedom of Expression. The presentation takes place over Zoom on Friday, October 27, at 3:30 PM Pacific Time.

Media, Education, and Democracy: Bridging Past and Future

The Media, Inequality, and Change Center (MIC) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication hosted this year’s Union for Democratic Communications (UDC) conference in Philadelphia. This was the first time the UDC met in person since the beginning of the pandemic. Project Censored’s own Steve MacekAndy Lee Roth, Nolan Higdon, Allison Butler, Mickey Huff, Robin Andersen, Reagan Haynie, and Mischa Geracoulis were among the many esteemed speakers on the program, all coming together to discuss the future of critical media literacy and democracy.

The Project would like to extend a sincere thank you to Victor Pickard, the MIC Center and Briar Smith, Annenberg staff and students, and Russell NewmanAaron Heresco, and all of the UDC organizers for putting on a wonderful event.

Supported by a grant that promotes the Project’s educational programs for students and teachers, Project Censored donated more than one hundred copies of Censored Press titles, including the most recent State of the Free Press yearbook and The Media and Me: A Guide to Critical Media Literacy for Young People, to conference participants. We enjoyed watching people’s reactions when we told them the book titles they were interested in were available at no charge.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for recorded interviews and exclusive footage from the conference.

Nolan Higdon and Allison Butler authored Students or Data Mines? Education Trains AI by Exploiting Students and Faculty about the consequences of using AI in education, including the lack of consideration for the economic exploitation of faculty and students whose data trains AI. Their article emphasized the need for substantive conversations about mitigating school surveillance, suggesting policy makers recognize how AI threatens the classroom.

“Books are not just stories; they are lifelines.” In The Rising Political Battle Over CensorshipDa’Taeveyon Daniels, the Youth Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week 2023, discussed the threats posed by book bans to humanity, acceptance, and understanding. “In academic spaces from coast to coast,” Daniels wrote, “the increasingly politicized, rising tide of book bans and challenges is washing away voices that need to be heard.”

In How Big Media Facilitate Israeli War Crimes in Gaza, Robin Andersen wrote about the corporate media’s failure to report on the historical context of the ongoing crisis in Gaza, the rapid spread of war propaganda, and the relentless dehumanization of Palestinians. Andersen charged, “US establishment media should consider these humanitarian narratives, in contrast to their standard militarized revenge frames, which only fan the flames of genocide that imperil the Palestinian people.”

Find the complete archives of Project Censored’s Dispatches on Media and Politics series here.

The Project Censored Show

Eleanor Goldfield spoke with economist and author Dr. Richard Wolff about establishing democracy in the workplace and achieving empowerment beyond the labor strike. Later in the show, Mickey Huff spoke with Eleanor about her newest documentary film, To The Trees, which explores forest defense tactics in Northern California, examining society’s relationship to nature and how that dynamic remains crucial to survival.

In commemoration of Banned Books Week’s 41st year, Mickey dedicated a recent show to celebrating and promoting the freedom to read, discussing a surge in book challenges; attempts by conservative parental groups to shape curricula, particularly concerning themes of marginalized groups, including LGBTQ+ issues, works by people of color, and others; and the myriad ways censorship harms young people. Mickey spoke with Betsy Gomez, coordinator for the Banned Books Week Coalition; Cameron Samuels, 2022 Youth Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week; Da’Taeveyon Daniels, BBW’s 2023 Youth Honorary Chair; and Jonah Winter, award-winning author of many children’s books, including his latest, Banned Book.

Ellen Barfield joined Eleanor to unpack the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) charges brought by the state of Georgia in 2009 against Barfield’s husband, Dr. Lawrence Egbert, and now against Stop Cop City organizers. In the show’s second half, activist Palta provided updates on the continued attacks against Stop Cop City organizers by the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.

Gaza was the focus of Eleanor’s interview with Nora Barrows-Friedman, the associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, who rebutted common Israeli and US talking points and identified Zionism as the actual obstacle to peace. Then Shealeigh Voitl, Project Censored’s digital and print editor, told Mickey about her most recent research publications, including an article in The Progressive about fundamental differences in how corporate media and community media cover gun violence, another on how entertainment-industry publications feature biased coverage of the Hollywood writers’ strike, and a third on threats to freedom of information and privacy posed by the “EARN IT” Act.