The Project Censored Newsletter—May 2023

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

May Is Book Writing Month at Project Censored

SFP24 PC 2024 Book CoverNovember may be National Novel Writing Month, but as the school year ends and summer beckons, we’ve been working energetically on the Project’s next book, State of the Free Press 2024. With cover art by Anson Stevens-Bollen, a foreword by Alan MacLeod of MintPress News, and contributions by Robin Andersen (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Maximillian Alvarez (The Real News Network), plus many more, SFP24 showcases the very best independent journalism and the “News That Didn’t Make the News” in 2022-2023.

At the risk of sounding biased, we suspect State of the Free Press 2024 may develop into the best volume yet in the Project’s venerable yearbook series. You’ll be able to judge for yourself in December when the book drops. Meanwhile, stay tuned in the coming months for more details and sneak peaks. And, if you’re wondering why the May newsletter is arriving at the very end of the month? Well, let’s just say we’ve been busy researching and writing!

Project Censored Welcomes Summer 2023 Interns

Project Censored is delighted to welcome our newest student interns. At North Central College, Grace Harty and Libby Meagher will work this summer with faculty mentors Steve Macek and Amy Grim Buxbaum. Grace is a senior Communications major whose passion is writing. Her research and writing will be featured in the Top 25 and Déjà Vu News chapters of State of the Free Press 2024. Libby is a Communications major who enjoys reading, writing fiction, and spending time with family. She began working with Project Censored to sharpen her journalistic skills and is contributing research and writing to the Top 25 chapter in this year’s book.

Riley Cummins and Ashton Sidford, students at Diablo Valley College, will work this summer with faculty mentor Mickey Huff and additional Project Censored staff. Riley and Ashton are diving right in by starting with fact-checking and proofreading the forthcoming Censored yearbook. Ashton is a biology major planning to attend veterinary school at Washington State University. They first got introduced to the Project in high school. Riley just earned her associate degree in political science and will be transferring to UC Berkeley next spring with hopes to attend law school one day.

We also want to publicly thank our outstanding 2022-2023 intern, Reagan Haynie, and cheer her on graduating summa cum laude earlier this month with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Censored Press Authors on the Go

The eagerly-anticipated release of Going Remote: A Teacher’s Journey, by Adam Bessie and Peter Glanting, took place May 16th. In the lead-up to the book’s release, Adam delivered the Annual Faculty Senate Lecture at Diablo Valley College in Northern California. His recorded remarks are archived on Zoom.

In addition to Publishers Weekly’s starred review, KQED in San Francisco gave high praise to Going Remote. Avid Reader Books in Sacramento hosted Bessie and Glanting’s first official public event, May 20th, followed by events at the Knight Cancer Research Institute, in Beaverton, OR, May 24th, and Powell’s Books in Beaverton, May 25th. Folks in California can catch Bessie and Glanting in action at Books Inc., in Berkeley, June 7th; and Book Passage, in Corte Madera, June 24th.

Check out the short video, produced by Kevin GosztolaWhy It Matters Whether You Consider Julian Assange a Journalist—or Not. Gosztola reviews a variety of positions on Assange’s status and argues that the jailed WikiLeaks’ editor and publisher is a journalist.

Kevin will be making appearances in Baltimore and the Washington, D.C. area next month.

On June 17th, he’ll be at Red Emma’s, and on June 18th he’ll be in conversation with CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington to discuss Guilty of Journalism, which the Censored Press and Seven Stories Press published last March. For more on Gosztola and his latest reporting on the Assange case, see the updates on the Project Censored Show, below.

George Mason University Honors Mischa Geracoulis

The College of Humanities and Social Science at George Mason University has honored Mischa Geracoulis as one of its outstanding graduate students for Spring 2023. Earlier this year, Mischa completed an MA at George Mason in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Education and Critical Pedagogies and a secondary concentration in Media and Democracy Studies.

For the second year in a row, Geracoulis is compiling and introducing the Media Democracy in Action chapter for the State of the Free Press yearbook. In April, The Markaz Review published her annotated reading list, Armenia Across Dislocation and Diaspora, as part of its commemoration of the Armenian genocide.

Project Censored Dispatches on Media and Politics

The latest Dispatches from Project Censored include “Not Shooting Straight: Corporate Media Gives Mass Shootings Blanket Coverage, While Missing Community-Level Gun Violence,” by Shealeigh Voitl, and “Journalism is Not a Crime,” by Mickey Huff.

In Not Shooting Straight, Voitl explains how establishment news outlets’ emphasis on the perspectives of politicians and government officials limits news coverage of solutions to gun violence beyond gun legislation, and how this bias marginalizes communities that experience gun violence on a regular basis. The study is based on analysis of more than 200 newspaper articles on gun violence, published between April and June of 2022; one of Project Censored’s Summer 2022 interns, Sam Peacock, helped with data collection and analysis. Look for an article by Voitl, based on the study, in the June/July issue of The Progressive.

Written to commemorate the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, Huff’s article, Journalism Is Not a Crime, makes the case that attacks on journalism are attacks on democracy. In the article, Huff calls out the hypocrisy of President Joe Biden on this issue. Even as the Biden administration seeks to extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange for obtaining and publishing evidence of US war crimes, at the annual White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner, Biden asserted that “journalism is not a crime.” Ironically, Huff notes, that very phrase has been used by Assange’s supporters in his case. Freedom of expression and freedom of information, Huff writes, are “central to a functioning free press.”

Project Censored Out and About

Project Censored director Mickey Huff addressed the state of our free press with Jeff Van Treese of Mobilized on Free Speech TV. They discussed the structural nature of censorship and propaganda in the current hyper-partisan media climate and the extraordinarily negative impact of Big Tech billionaires on journalism.

The Project Censored Show

In late April, Mickey Huff hosted a special episode of the Show, Celebrating Daniel Ellsberg Week, with Kevin Gosztola and Daniel Ellsberg. Gosztola, the author of Guilty of Journalism, provided updates on the Assange case and later spoke with the renowned whistleblower Dan Ellsberg about the consequences of Assange’s case for press freedoms around the world. Huff hosted a second program about World Press Freedom Day, focused on national security state propaganda and the importance of independent journalists as defenders of human rights, featuring Project Censored intern Reagan Haynie and guests Alan MacLeod of MintPress NewsNolan Higdon, author of The Anatomy of Fake News; and Andy Lee Roth, author of a recently published article titled The Lifeblood of Democracy.

Eleanor Goldfield recently hosted two striking segments, including “Demanding Accountability From Chevron” with human rights lawyer Steven Donziger, and “The Struggle of Frontline Community Journalists” with Matilda Bliss and Veronica Coit from the Asheville Blade. Look for Eleanor’s forthcoming article at Truthout on the retaliatory prosecution of journalists in Asheville, North Carolina.

Finally, Eleanor hosted Morgan Artyukhina, a Washington, DC-based journalist and activist, who discussed attacks on trans rights and a path to liberation for all, and community organizer Kamau Franklin, who talked about building autonomous zones inside oppressive structures and political education as a tool for community building.