Thursday, April 13, 2000
The stock market is soaring. The Internet is delivering ever more consumer goods to your doorstep. The United States and NATO brought peace to the former Yugoslavia. The biggest issues facing the American people are a spike in gas prices and an adorable little Cuban boy.
If the mainstream media are to be believed, global capitalism has nearly reached its final destination: an endless era of peace and prosperity, punctuated by thrilling plane crashes and touching celebrity deaths.
Meanwhile, the magic of the marketplace hasn't done much for the millions in poor countries who are dying of curable diseases. For indigenous peoples who have the misfortune to live on top of fossil fuel deposits, globalism has brought displacement, brutal repression, and sometimes murder. And what was the real goal of NATO's peacekeeping mission in the Balkans?
"The dark side of capitalism--that's something the American press doesn't tell us about," says Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored. "Stories about powerful people making decisions that impact billions of people's lives often don't get told by the media, because they're more interested in entertaining us than in keeping us informed."
That's where Project Censored comes in.
For almost a quarter of a century, Project Censored, based at Sonoma State University, has tracked the excesses and omissions of the media, investigating its biases by studying what it leaves out. Researchers comb alternative weeklies, fringe political rags, trade and medical journals, and special-interest newsletters to find the stories the American public needs to know but won't find in the New York Times. The resulting list--"the year's top 25 censored stories"--gets more frightening every year.