This week, the New Times continues the annual tradition of publishing Project Censored: important news stories from the past year that were underreported.
The people who work on the project will tell you that these stories were underreported not just because there are so many great stories around and a few always fall by the wayside.
“Information is the currency of democracy,” Ralph Nader, the prominent consumer advocate, wrote in a foreword to the book compiling this year’s Project Censored report. But with most mass media owned by narrow corporate interests, “the general public remains uninformed.”
I’m no conspiracy theorist, but:
– Consider the attention American media spent on something as trivial as President Barack Obama’s clumsy salute while holding a cup of coffee. Consider the attention it paid to damage caused to the oceans by global warming.
– Consider the time and space devoted to Ebola panic and hysteria from Texas to Syracuse to New York City. You can count the cases on the fingers of one hand. Consider the number of people tortured around the world by nations we support. They number in the thousands.
– Consider the endless reporting on the “mystery” of the Malaysian flight that disappeared into the ocean. Consider the lack of reporting on efforts by corporations to rig the game in their favor to the disadvantage of average Americans.
Project Censored provides a good list of stories worthy of your attention. You may choose to disregard them, but at least read them.
Thomas Jefferson is often credited with stating “a properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.”
Whether accurate or not, whether Jefferson said it or not, this much is true: An informed electorate is better than the alternative.