The Project Censored Newsletter—February 2024

by Kate Horgan
Published: Updated:

State of the Free Press 2024 in the News

Mischa Geracoulis, who organized and introduced the yearbook’s Media Democracy in Action chapter, coauthored an article, What the New York Times Gets Wrong About Lemkin’s Work on Genocide, with Heidi Boghosian, host of the Law and Disorder radio show. Geracoulis and Boghosian’s piece was republished by Consortium News. Geracoulis and Boghosian also published a follow-up article, From ‘Jihadist’ Dearborn to Middle East’s ‘Insects,’ calling out further distortions in op-eds published by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

CovertAction Bulletin featured Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth in conversation with Rachel Hu and Chris Garaffa. Mitch Ratcliffe and Roth discussed the year’s most important but underreported environmental issues for an episode of the Earth911 podcast. Matt Crawford hosted Roth on the Curious Man Podcast. Greg Godels and Pat Cummings hosted Roth for episode 70 of the Coming From Left Field podcast. Roth was also a guest on JENerational Change with Jen Perelman and Peter Hager.

On January 22, North Central College held a State of the Free Press 2024 book launch, featuring special presentations from NCC students and faculty, highlighting stories from this year’s Top 25 and Déjà Vu News chapters. Special thanks to Steve Macek and Amy Buxbaum for their hard work on this year’s book and for organizing such a wonderful community event.

The ScheerPost excerpted two sections from the 2024 yearbook: Roth and Huff’s Navigating the News Void: From News Deserts to Revitalization, based on the introduction to State of the Free Press 2024, and Robin Andersen’s News Abuse analysis, under the title How Corporate Media Outlets Failed Their Readers in 2023. In late January, CounterPunch and the Los Angeles Progressive also republished Andersen’s article.

Upcoming Events

Mickey Huff will be at Avid Reader in Sacramento, California, on February 17 for a book event featuring State of the Free Press 2024. C-SPAN will be there to cover the event, which starts at 2pm.

Project Censored is partnering with the Media Education Foundation (MEF) to host a webinar discussion based on Theaters of War, a documentary film by Roger Stahl, which exposes how the Pentagon and CIA took Hollywood. The webinar event, Silver Screen War Machine: Decoding the Military-Entertainment Complex, will be held at 4pm Pacific time on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Featured speakers include Mnar Adley, Robin Andersen, Fatooma Saad, and Stahl, in conversation with host Mickey Huff. For more information or to register for the event, follow this link.

The Censored Press will be meeting folks and selling titles from its catalog at the Tucson Festival of Books in Tucson, Arizona, March 9-10. Last year, an estimated 120,000 people attended the two-day celebration of books and reading. If you’re in Tucson that weekend, stop by booth #175 and say hello!

Censored Press Happenings

Congratulations to Adam Bessie and Peter Glanting, whose book Going Remote: A Teacher’s Journey was selected by the American Library Association (ALA) as one of the Best Graphic Novels for Adults in 2023. Illustrated by Peter Glanting, Going Remote is Adam Bessie’s memoir of teaching in a community college during the pandemic while undergoing cancer treatment. It “swells with a determined optimism,” Publishers Weekly noted in its starred review.

Allison Butler, coauthor of The Media and Me, appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered in a segment on the importance of media literacy education to stop the spread of misinformation. Interviewed by Arun Rath of GBH, Boston Public Radio, Butler highlighted the “engagement of continuous critical inquiry, continuously asking questions,” as hallmarks of critical media literacy education.

The Censored Notebook features a new article by Nolan Higdon, Villainizing Media Literacy at the World Economic Forum: Time to Mandate It in US Schools. Noting that “elites grow agitated and defensive” when members of the public employ critical media literacy to hold establishment media accountable, Higdon reports on remarks made by  Emma Tucker, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, at the January 2024 meeting of the World Economic Forum. Higdon—who helped write The Media and Me—argues for more comprehensive critical media literacy education.

Project Censored Dispatches on Media and Politics

Sue Wilson wrote FCC Regulators Play the Shell Game with Broadcasters, a deep dive into the Federal Communication Commission’s investigation of the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Wilson, an Emmy-award-winning broadcast journalist who heads the Media Action Center, reports on revelations from a multi-year effort, using Freedom of Information Act requests, to expose double standards in the FCC’s handling of licenses for Sinclair’s broadcasting empire. “A reckoning of these shell games should have come out in a public hearing,” Wilson writes.

In her article, As GQ Absorbs Pitchfork, Music Media Becomes Even More Male-Centric, Shealeigh Voitl examines what the Pitchfork layoffs and merging music media with men’s media might mean for artists, journalists, music fans, and inclusivity. Noting that “women, people of color, queer and non-binary folks, and other marginalized communities have always been innovating, making music, writing about music, and finding ways to introduce new sounds to their circles,” Voitl questions who gets left behind in the wake of music industry mergers and layoffs.

The Project Censored Show

Follow the links for each episode to learn more about the Show’s featured guests and content. Find the comprehensive archive of Project Censored Show episodes here.

Curious What We Listen To While We’re Doing What We Do?

Project Censored’s staff always has music playing—on and off the clock. For the very first time, the Project has curated a staff playlist, compiled by Reagan Haynie, reflecting a wide range of musical preferences, with everything from Pet Shop Boys to Willie Nelson. Staff members also contributed to a special “Censored” playlist, featuring music that explores censorship, challenges convention, and celebrates independent artists.