Now in its 35th year, Project Censored, a media research program at Sonoma State University, has examined the coverage of news and information to identify what it calls Modern Censorship -- "the subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality in American mass media outlets."
Every year the program releases its list of the Top 25 Censored stories -- "important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented or censored by U.S. corporate media." Almost every year since The Reader started, we've shared it with you.
Following is the list of this year's Top 25 Censored stories with extremely abbreviated explanations. For a fuller explanation and a list of sources, go to www.projectcensored.org.
Top 12 Censored Stories, 2010-2011
1. More US Soldiers Committed Suicide Than Died in Combat: For the second year in a row, more U.S. soldiers killed themselves (468) than died in combat (462).
2. US Military Manipulates the Social Media: The Defense Department's Central Command (Centcom) has contracted a California corporation to develop an "online persona management service" that will allow one person to control up to ten separate social media identities as part of its pyschological warfare program, Operation Earnest Voice.
3. Obama Authorizes International Assassination Campaign: U.S. citizens suspected of "encouraging" terror are being targeted for assassination.
4. Global Food Crisis Expands: The UN reports that food and commodity price increases last year exceeded the previous record set in 2007-2008, adding an additional 44 million to the 925 million suffering food insecurity.
5. Private Prison Companies Fund Anti–Immigrant Legislation: The nation's two largest private prison corporations, Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, helped finance the campaign and staff the office of Arizona governor Jan Brewer, hoping to grow their business incarcerating almost a million immigrants since 2007.
6. Google Spying? With ties to the Obama administration, Google was absolved of illegally collecting personal data such as passwords and emails from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in U.S. homes and businesses from its Street View cars.
7. U.S. Army and Psychology’s Largest Experiment–Ever. A U.S. Army program to reduce adverse psychological consequences for combat soldiers, desensitizing them to traumatic events, is being rolled out to 1.1 million soldiers in its first trial run.
8. The Fairytale of Clean and Safe Nuclear Power. As the nuclear industry moves to set a new "Clean Energy Standard," the U.S. National Academy of Sciences still determines that any level of radiation exposure increases the risk of cancer, birth defects and other diseases.
9. Government Sponsored Technologies for Weather Modification. The U.S. government's High-Frequency Active Aural Research Program aims to "excite" the ionosphere to modify ecological conditions. The Chinese government is the world leader in cloud-seeding experiments.
10. Real Unemployment: One Out of Five in US. Shadowstats.com reports that the real U.S. unemployment rate is 22.2%, including allowing for "seasonal adjustments" and job-seekers unemployed for more than a year.
11. Trafficking of Iraqi Women Rampant. Rather than making the estimated 50,000 Iraqi women held in Jordan and Syria a priority resettlement group and opening them to help from the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, U.S. policy does nothing to help these widows and orphans held in sexual servitude.
12. Pacific Garbage Dump—Did You Really Think Your Plastic Was Being Recycled? According to the 5 Gyres Project, there are 315 billion pounds of plastic in the ocean.
The Remaining Top 13 Censored Stories of 2010-2011
13. Will a State of Emergency Be Used to Supersede Our Constitution?
14. Family Pressure on Young Girls for Genitalia Mutilation Continues in Kenya
15. Big Polluters Freed from Environmental Oversight
16. Sweatshops in China Are Making Your iPods While Workers Suffer
17. Superbug Bacteria Spreading Worldwide
18. Monsanto Tries to Benefit from Haiti’s Earthquake
19. Oxfam Exposes How Aid Is Used for Political Purposes
20. US Agencies Trying to Outlaw GMO Food Labelling
21. Lyme Disease: An Emerging Epidemic
22. Participatory Budgeting – A Method to Empower Local Citizens & Communities
23. Worldwide Movement To Ban or Charge Fees For Plastic Bags
24. South Dakota Takes Extreme Measures to Be the Top Anti–Abortion State
25. Extension of DU to Libya
For a fuller explanation and a list of sources, go to www.projectcensored.org.