The Project Censored Newsletter—April 2024

by Kate Horgan

Latest Validated Independent News Stories

As we prepare the April newsletter, Project Censored faculty, students, and judges are reviewing the Validated Independent News stories the Project received in 2023-2024. Students participating in the Project’s Campus Affiliates Program identify, vet, and summarize important but under-reported independent news stories as part of their hands-on training in critical media literacy.

This year no fewer than 195 students from nine college and university campuses across the United States contributed to this collective effort to raise public awareness of important but under-reported social issues. In turn, these stories become candidates for inclusion in the Project’s acclaimed top “Censored” story list.

Candidate stories for the 2023-24 list include independent reporting on saltwater intrusion threatening drinking water along US coastlines, a drastic increase in workplace deaths in the US during the 2021-2022 census period, and ChatGPT security issues raising significant ethical questions, to name just a few. The story list also highlights the best “solutions” journalism, including, for example, reporting on how in-hospital schools at the University of North Carolina’s Neurosciences Hospital have opened “a road to recovery to address the student mental health crisis and foster school connectedness.”

The 2023-2024 story list will be published in Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2025, due out this December from The Censored Press and Seven Stories Press. Meanwhile, you can review the full slate of candidates for this year’s Top 25 story list on the Project’s Validated Independent News page.

Project Staff Partnering with the Society of Professional Journalists for Regional Events

Mischa Geracoulis, Allison Butler, and Robin Andersen presented at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 1 conference at Emerson College in Boston, April 19-20. Mischa reported, “At a time when public trust in media and the profession of journalism have both taken hard hits, it was a genuine honor to be in the company of longtime professionals unwilling to give up on the Fourth Estate and journalism students eager to dive into a field that does not necessarily come with financial enticements. When keynote speaker at the Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon, Leslie Visser, articulated, ‘If you’re into journalism, truth-seeking is in your DNA,’ she reaffirmed our collective mission.” Special thanks to Adam Sennott of the SPJ New England chapter for organizing the event.

In March, Steve Macek participated in the Chicago Headline Club’s 2024 FOIA Fest, the Club’s annual event, hosted at Loyola University. The event celebrated Freedom of Information Day and public records reporting. Steve also contributed to the Club’s 2024 FOIA Fest Tip Sheet, highlighting best practices for journalists making Freedom of Information Act requests.

Censored Press Happenings

On April 21, 2024, C-SPAN’s Book TV broadcast the Avid Reader event in Sacramento, featuring Mickey Huff, recorded this past February. He discussed major themes and stories from Project Censored’s latest book, State of the Free Press 2024.

Mickey Huff was invited to speak about the state of the free press with Marianne Barisonek on The Progressive Page Turner, out of Sarasota, Florida, on April 10th.

Allison Butler, coauthor of The Media and Me, was interviewed by Arun Rath for a segment on “How Far-Right Activists Co-opt Strategies of the Civil Rights Movement,” broadcast by GBH’s All Things Considered on April 2nd.

The DailyKos’s Good News Roundup for April 12, 2024, written by chloris creator, highlighted The Media and Me as a book “designed to help youth learn how to use the media” while noting that the tools in it “could be used by anyone of any age.” Under the heading, “Let’s Honor Truth,” chloris highlighted the book’s pointers for evaluating news validity.

Mischa Geracoulis and Heidi Boghosian wrote an article for Savage Minds titled Whitewashing Genocide, focused on politician George Latimer and AIPAC campaign financing that aims to mislead voters in New York about the history of genocide and events in Gaza.

Andy Lee Roth read from and discussed The Media and Me at the grand opening of the Methow Valley Authors Library, hosted by Casia Lodge in Twisp, Washington, on April 14th. Special thanks to Methow Arts for sponsoring the event and Greg Wright of the Methow Press for organizing it.

Dispatches on Media and Politics and Other Publications

In Op-Ed Abuse, Mischa Geracoulis and Heidi Boghosian discuss findings from recent studies by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and The Intercept, which document bias in opinion articles on the US economy and Israel’s assault on Gaza, respectively. Geracoulis and Boghosian consider these findings in light of the historical development of the op-ed as a standard newspaper feature, and they call for revitalizing the standards news outlets use to determine the content of their opinion pages.

Truthout featured the latest article by Project Censored Show co-host Eleanor Goldfield, titled Israeli Firms Are Working Overtime to Sell Stolen Palestinian Land to US Jews. As she reports, real estate events held in the United States “peddling land in Israeli settlements in the West Bank appear to flout US and international law.”

Allison Butler and Nolan Higdon explored how educational technologies undermine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts in their latest article, Ed-Tech’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Deficit: The Galactic Gulf Between Rhetoric and Action. Programs like Turnitin, G Suite for Education, and other surveillance tools compromise the “autonomy of students, teachers, and families and reduce them to data repositories to be mined by Big Tech corporations” rather than improving students’ classroom experience.

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.