Project Censored: 10 stories the media neglected this year
Published: December 4, 2013
Hate groups in the US are on the rise, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. There are 1,007 known hate groups operating across the country, it wrote, including neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others.
Since 2000, those groups have grown by more than half, and there was a “powerful resurgence” of Patriot groups, the likes of which were involved in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Worst of all, the huge growth in armed militias seems to have conspicuous timing with Obama’s presidential election.
“The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, has grown 813 percent since Obama was elected—from 149 in 2008 to 1,360 in 2012,” the SPLC reported.
Though traditionally those groups were race motivated, the report noted that now they are gunning for government. There was a smattering of news coverage when the SPLC released its report, but not much since.
6. Billionaires’ Rising Wealth Intensifies Poverty and Inequality
The world’s billionaires added $241 billion to their collective net worth in 2012. That’s an economic recovery, right?
That gain, coupled with the world’s richest peoples’ new total worth of $1.9 trillion (more than the GDP of Canada), wasn’t reported by some kooky socialist group, but by Bloomberg News. But few journalists are asking the important question: why?
Project Censored points to journalist George Monbiot, who highlights a reduction of taxes and tax enforcement, the privatization of public assets and the weakening of labor unions.
His conclusions are backed up by the United Nations’ Trade and Development Report from 2012, which noted how the trend hurts everyone: “Recent empirical and analytical work reviewed here mostly shows a negative correlation between inequality and growth.”
7. Merchant of Death and Nuclear Weapons
The report highlighted by Project Censored on the threat of nuclear war is an example not of censorship, strictly, but a desire for media reform.
Project Censored highlighted a study from the Physicians for Social Responsibility that said 1 billion people could starve in the decade after a nuclear detonation. Corn production in the US would decline by an average of 10 percent for an entire decade and food prices would make food inaccessible to hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest.
This is not journalism in the classic sense, Gladstone said. In traditional journalism, as it’s played out since the early 20th century, news requires an element of something new in order to garner reporting—not a looming threat or danger.
So in this case, what Project Censored identified was the need for a new kind of journalism, what it calls “solutions journalism.”
“Solutions journalism,” Sarah van Gelder wrote in the foreword to Censored 2014, “must investigate not only the individual innovations, but also the larger pattern of change—the emerging ethics, institutions and ways of life that are coming into existence.”