The February 2023 Newsletter

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

Censored Press Authors Making Waves

Kevin Gosztola, author of Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange, spoke at the fourth sitting of the Belmarsh Tribunal, in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2023. Gosztola joined Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel EllsbergNoam Chomsky, and other luminary members of the Tribunal in pursuing what Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman described as “justice for journalists who are imprisoned or persecuted, publishers, whistleblowers who dare to reveal the crimes of our governments.” You can listen to Kevin Gosztola’s Belmarsh testimony, on what he describes as the CIA’s conspiracy theory against Assange, here.

Gosztola will also be a featured speaker at the Disruption Lab Network’s Smart Prisons conference, to be held in Berlin, March 24-26, 2023. Many events on the program, including the panel featuring lawyer Stella Assange (Julian Assange’s wife), Gosztola, and investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi, will be streamed for free. Check the event website for the full schedule and streaming information.

Publishers Weekly recently reviewed Guilty of Journalism, calling it a “searing polemic against the U.S. government’s encroachment on the freedom of the press.” Guilty of Journalism will be published on March 7, 2023. You can order a copy for delivery now, directly from Project Censored and The Censored Press.

There’s more pre-publication praise for Going Remote: A Teacher’s Journey, by Adam Bessie and Peter GlantingPublishers Weekly listed Going Remote as one of its Top 10 Adult Comics and Graphic Novels for Spring 2023; PW also featured an interview with Bessie and an excerpt from Going Remote.

Going Remote is scheduled for publication in April 2023, but keep your eyes on Project Censored’s website and social media to be the first to know when we have pre-publication copies of the book ready to ship.

Progressive Mag for Junk News excerpt

YES! Magazine published “A Young Person’s Guide to Spotting Fake News,” an excerpt from The Media and MeProject Censored’s guide to critical media literacy for young people (and anyone else who cares about media democracy in action). The February/March issue of The Progressive features “Space Junk,” by Jen LyonsMarcelle SwinburneSierra KaulGavin Kelley, and Mickey Huff, excerpted from their “Junk Food News” chapter in State of the Free Press 2023.

Looking to the future, we are thrilled to announce that The Censored Press has signed a contract with Omar Zahzah to publish his first book, Terms of Servitude: Zionism, Silicon Valley, and Digital Colonialism in the Palestinian Liberation Struggle. Zahzah is a Lebanese Palestinian writer, poet, artist, independent scholar, freelance journalist, and organizer, who serves as the education and advocacy coordinator at Eyewitness Palestine. Terms of Service combines Zahzah’s investigative reporting with recent work on surveillance capitalism, technology, and society to expose how Big Tech repression of Palestinian media content furthers the Israeli colonial project—and what can be done to stop it. Terms of Servitude is scheduled for publication in 2024. Stay tuned here for more news about it.

Through its publishing imprint, The Censored Press, Project Censored helps produce books—such Going Remote, Guilty of JournalismThe Media and Me, and Terms of Servitude—that challenge the establishment media’s narrow conceptions of who and what count as “newsworthy.” At a time when reactionary forces seek to ban books, your support of Project Censored helps us to publish radical titles such as these.

Dispatches on Media and Politics

The Project’s Dispatches series—cogent analyses of timely issues at the intersection of media and politics—started 2023 with a bang. In January, Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff published Promoting Falsehoods and Marginalizing Truth-Tellers, a critical dissection of recent reassessments of the role that Russia played (or, did not play) in swinging the 2016 presidential election. Also that month, Higdon published The Professional Managerial Class Strikes Back!, about the development of what he described as “an apartheid system of faculty” in higher education, which prevents “faculty from uniting with each other, let alone students, to resist managerial coercion.”

In February, Higdon and Allison Butler assessed the “shockwaves” sent through higher education by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a chatbot that can generate outlines, bibliographies, and well-formed essays. In STFU about ChatGPT, Higdon and Butler assess the fear that ChatGPT will lead to rampant academic dishonesty by students, noting that, although cheating is “nothing new,” critical media literacy provides educators and students alike with resources to make sense of the threats and benefits posed by this latest tech development.

This month also saw the first longform article in the Dispatches series, Andy Lee Rothavram anderson, and Mickey Huff’s Beyond Prior Restraint: Censorship by Proxy and the New Digital Gatekeeping. This in-depth article examines the closure of RT America, the EARN IT Act, and online censorship of LGBTQ content as examples of “censorship by proxy” and assesses how this relatively new form of censorship is driven by moral panics and advertising interests. “Beyond Prior Restraint” is excerpted from a chapter by Roth, anderson, and Huff to be included in Censorship, Digital Media, and the Global Crackdown on Freedom of Expression, edited by Robin AndersenNolan Higdon, and Steve Macek, which will be released later this year by the international publishing house Peter Lang.

The Project Censored Show

Recent episodes of the Project Censored Show, originating from KPFA in Berkeley, California, and rebroadcast on some fifty terrestrial radio stations across the US, have included Mickey Huff’s interview with independent journalists Kevin Gosztola and Sam Husseini, who discussed the democratic significance of whistleblowers and journalists, and Eleanor Goldfield addressing the true legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in conversation with Jacqueline Luqman, and the Biden administration’s “updates” to immigration policy, with Setareh Ghandehari from the Detention Watch Network.

In a subsequent program, hosted by Huff, Alan MacLeod, a senior staff writer at MintPress News, described his recent investigative reports on the close, financially lucrative ties between Big Tech companies and the US military/security establishment. And Goldfield examined Germany’s push for more dirty coal, with Sasha Lorenz of the Lützerath Lebt movement. Eleanor also spoke with Coyote from the Defend Atlanta Forest movement to address the murder of forest defender Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán.

Recent and Upcoming Project Censored Events

10th Anniversary Celebration of Project Censored The Movie on March 16

10th Anniversary Celebration of Project Censored The Movie on March 16

Time flies. It’s been ten years since the premiere of Christopher Oscar and Doug Hecker’s award-winning documentary, Project Censored The Movie, at the 2013 Sonoma International Film Festival, and we’re still fighting to “End the Reign of Junk Food News.”

To celebrate the film’s anniversary, the historic Sebastiani Theater in Sonoma, CA is presenting a double-feature screening of Project Censored The Movie with the premiere of United States of Distraction: Fighting the Fake News Invasion, on Thursday, March 16th. Narrated and edited by Abby Martin, United States of Distraction (2020) was shot and produced by Project Censored students.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, come celebrate independent film-making and support Project Censored. Tickets include the screening of both films, a Q&A session, and a glass of wine; students with school ID will be admitted for no charge (wine not included). For more information about the program follow this link.

The Media and Me in Vermont

On Saturday, February 11, the Rockingham Free Public Library, in Bellows Falls, featured Ben Boyington discussing The Media and Me and the importance of critical  media literacy. Boyington was also featured on the February 8 episode of CT Politics.

State of the Free Press 2023 in Illinois and California

On February 8th, North Central College hosted a festive book launch featuring students and faculty who contributed to State of the Free Press 2023, including NCC student Kathleen Minelli, NCC alumna Shealeigh Voitl, and faculty members Steve Macek and Amy Grim Buxbaum. Among the sixty-some people in attendance was investigative reporter, editor, and publisher Geoff Davidian, one of Project Censored’s esteemed judges.

Mickey Huff will discuss Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2023 at The Avid Reader in Sacramento, at 2pm on February 25th.