The Top 10 Most 'Censored' Stories of 1989.
Project Censored 89 - Top 10 Stories
The growing threat of a handful of monopolistic global media lords to the
international marketplace of ideas was named the top under-reported issue of
1989 according to a national panel of media experts.
Ben Bagdikian, professor at the graduate school of journalism at the
University of California, Berkeley, warned that mammoth private organizations,
driven by the profit motive, already dominate the world's mass media and
threaten the freedom of information which is the basis for all liberty.
The second most under-covered story of the year, cited by Project Censored,
described how international sludge dealers are turning Africa into the world's
toxic waste dump; the third ranked story revealed how U.S. officials are
supporting "one of the most brutal holocausts since World War II" in
Now in its 14th year, Project Censored, a national media research effort
conducted annually at Sonoma State University, California, locates stories
about significant issues which are not widely publicized by the national news
Following are the top ten under-reported news stories of 1989 as announced by
project director Carl Jensen, professor of Communication Studies at Sonoma
1. Global Media Lords Threaten Freedom of Information. Five major media
corporations already dominate the fight for hundreds of millions of minds
throughout the world and they concede that before the turn of the century they
may control most of the world's important newspapers, magazines, books,
broadcast stations, movies, recordings and video cassettes.
2. Turning Africa Into the World's Garbage Can. Africa, already suffering from
poverty, drought, famine, locusts, "contra" wars, and the AIDS epidemic,
appears destined to become the world's toxic waste dump as international sludge
dealers try to dump U.S. and European waste onto at least 15 African countries.
3. The Holocaust in Mozambique. A U.S. State Department official has called
the attacks by the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) "one of the most
brutal holocausts against ordinary human beings since World War II." More than
one million, mostly innocent men, women, and children have already died. RENAMO
is reported to be funded by South African sources and conservative, right-wing
groups int he United States and Europe.
4. America's Deceitful War on Drugs. The governmetn's war on drugs is more
hype than reality. One of the nation's top narcotics prosecutors quit in
frustration last year after State Department officials interfered in his
investigations of top people in the cocaine business. A Senate subcommittee
revealed that foreign policy interests sidetracked, disrupted, and undercut the
"war on drugs."
5. Guatemalan Blood on U.S. Hands. The Bush administration strengthened ties
with the oppressive Guatemalan military last year at the same time that human
rights violations by the military rose sharply. One unpublicized violation
occurred last year when a U.S. citizen, Sister Diana Ortiz, working as a
teacher in Guatemala, was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, and sexually molested by
three men, one of whom was a uniformed Guatemalan police officer. The U.S.
Department of State didn't register a protest.
6. Radioactive Waste in the Neighborhood Landfill. Radioactive waste may be
joining old tires, banana peels, and other regular garbage at the local
landfill if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection
Agency and the nuclear industry implement their little-known plan to deregulate
radioactive waste to "Below Regulatory Concern."
7. Oliver North & Co. Banned form Costa Rica. In 1989, Oliver North, former
National Security Advisor John Poindexter, former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica
Lewis Tambs, Major General Richard Secord, and former CIA station chief in
Costa Rica Joseph Fernandez were barred by President Oscar Arias from ever
setting foot in Costa Rica again. A Costa Rican congressional commission
concluded that the contra re-supply network in Costa Rica, which North
coordinated from the White House, doubled as a drug smuggling operation.
8. Wall Street Journal Censors Story of CBS Bias. The Wall Street Journal
censored a major story by one of its top reporters, Mary Williams Walsh, which
exposed how one of the nation's most respected TV news departments, CBS News,
broadcast biased news coverage of the Afghanistan war to the American people.
9. PCBs and Toxic Waste in Your Gasoline. The U.S. General Accounting Office,
the EPA, and the FBI are investigating sophisticated "waste laundering" schemes
in which hazardous toxic wastes and solvents, including PCBs, are mixed with
gasoline and diesel and industrial fuel and sold to consumers.
10. The Chicken Industry and the National Salmonella Epidemic. The chicken
industry's drive for profits, aided by relaxed inspection practices by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, has led to a national epidemic of 2.5 million cases
of salmonella poisoning a year, 500,000 hospitalizations, and 9,000 deaths.
The other 15 under-reported stories of 1989 were: How the Federal Emergency
Management Agency Failed the Nation; The Secret Pan Am 103 Report the Media
Ignored; The U.S. is Poisoning the Rest of the World with Banned Pesticides;
The U.S. Presence is Destroying the Environment in Central America; Media
Reliance on Conservative Sources Debunk Myth of Liberal Bias; Faulty Computers
Can Trigger World War III; RICO and SLAPP Lawsuits Endanger Free Speech Rights;
NASA Lied to Get Plutonium Payload Into Space; U.S. Congress Ignored Soviet
Plea for Nuclear Test Ban; The Oppression of Exploitation of Native Americans;
How the U.S. and the Media Propagandized the War on Drugs; The Profitable
Revovlving Employment Door Between the Environmental Protection Agency and the
Polluters; Sellafield: The Largest Source of Radioactive Contamination in the
World; The National Parks are in Serious Trouble; The Plaintive Case for Animal
The panel of judges who selected the top ten stories were: Dr. Donna Allen,
founding editor of Media Report to Women; Jonathan Alter, Senior Writer,
Newsweek; Ben Bagdikian, professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University
of California, Berkeley; Jim Cameron, founder and systems operator, CompuServe
Journalism Forum; Noam Chomsky, professor, Linguistics and Philosophy,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology; George Gerbner, professor, Annenberg
School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania; Nicholas Johnson,
professor, College of Law, University of Iowa; Rhoda H. Karpatkin, executive
director, Consumer's Union; Charles L. Klotzer, editor and publicsher, St.
Louis Journalism Revew; Judith Krug, director, Office for Intellectual Freedom,
American Library Association; Frances Moore Lappe, executive director, Food
First; Bill Moyers, executive editor, Public Affairs Television; Jack L.
Nelson, professor, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University; Herbert I.
Schiller, professor, Department of Communication, University of California, San
Diego; Sheila Rabb Weidenfeld, president, D.C. Productions.
Jensen, who created Project Censored in 1976, said "The impact of global media
lords on the free flow of information is seen in the number of critical issues
which are undercovered or "censored" by the mass media each year. The media's
penchant for self-censorship and desire to avoid sensitive issues, coupled with
the Bush administration which is even more secretive than the Reagan era,
deprives the public of information about issues it should know about."
Source: PeaceNet - gen.newsletters
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