June 8, 2010
The mission of Project Censored is to teach students and the public about the role of a free press in a free society – and to tell the News That Didn’t Make the News and Why
WHAT IS MODERN CENSORSHIP?
At Project Censored, we examine the coverage of news and information important to the maintenance of a healthy and functioning democracy. We define Modern Censorship as the subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality in our mass media outlets. On a daily basis, censorship refers to the intentional non-inclusion of a news story – or piece of a news story – based on anything other than a desire to tell the truth. Such manipulation can take the form of political pressure (from government officials and powerful individuals), economic pressure (from advertisers and funders), and legal pressure (the threat of lawsuits from deep-pocket individuals, corporations, and institutions).
WHAT IS MEDIA ACCOUNTABILITY
In our view, the only valid justification for declining a news story is that in a medium limited by time and space, another news story was simply more important to the people of the community, whether local, national or international. While admittedly a subjective process, it is, nonetheless, a process to be undertaken by the news people themselves (the investigative journalists and editors), NOT by the managers and CEOs of their “parent company.” No professional journalist or researcher should ever have to face the destruction of his or her career (or life) simply because they wanted to tell the truth. While no two people will always agree on what story is more important than another, a system where the working reporters and editors run the newsroom would at least provide a fertile environment for debate, dissent and critical thinking.