Project Censored - Page 5

Annual media watchdog list critiques coverage of whistleblowers and wealth gaps -- and the notion of journalistic objectivity

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In her 2012 book, Occupy Money, Kennedy wrote that tradespeople, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers along the chain of production rely on credit. Her figures were initially drawn from the German economy, but Ellen Brown of the Web of Debt and Global Research said she found similar patterns in the US.

This "hidden interest" has sapped the growth of other industries, she said, lining the pockets of the financial sector.

So if interest is stagnating so many industries, why would journalists avoid the topic?

Few economists have echoed her views, and few experts emerged to back up her assertions. Notably, she's a professor in an architectural school, with no formal credentials in economics.

From her own website, she said she became an "expert" in economics "through her continuous research and scrutiny."

Without people in power pushing the topic, McChesney said that a mainstream journalist would be seen as going out on a limb.

"The reporters raise an issue the elites are not raising themselves, then you're ideological, have an axe to grind, sort of a hack," he said. "It makes journalism worthless on pretty important issues."

9. Icelanders Vote to Include Commons in Their Constitution

In 2012, Icelandic citizens voted in referendum to change the country's 1944 constitution. When asked, "In the new constitution, do you want natural resources that are not privately owned to be declared national property?" its citizens voted 81 percent in favor.

Project Censored says this is important for us to know, but in the end, US journalism is notably American-centric. Even the Nieman Watchdog, a foundation for journalism at Harvard University, issued a report in 2011 citing the lack of reporting on a war the US funneled over $4 trillion into over the past decade, not to mention the cost in human lives.

If we don't pay attention to our own wars, why exactly does Project Censored think we'd pay attention to Iceland?

"The constitutional reforms are a direct response to the nation's 2008 financial crash," Project Censored wrote, "when Iceland's unregulated banks borrowed more than the country's gross domestic product from international wholesale money markets."

Solutions-based journalism rears its head again, and the idea is that the US has much to learn from Iceland, but even Gladstone was dubious.

"Iceland is being undercovered, goddamnit! Where is our Iceland news?" she joked with us. "Certainly I agree with some of this list, Bradley Manning was covered badly, I was sad the tax haven story didn't get more coverage. But when has anyone cared about Iceland?"

10. A "Culture of Cruelty" along Mexico–US Border

The plight of Mexican border crossings usually involves three types of stories in US press: deaths in the stretch of desert beyond the border, the horrors of drug cartels, and heroic journeys of border crossings by sympathetic workers. But a report released a year ago by the organization No More Deaths snags the 10th spot for overlooked stories in Project Censored.

The report asserts that people arrested by Border Patrol while crossing were denied water and told to let their sick die. No More Deaths conducted more than 12,000 interviews to form the basis of its study in three Mexican cities: Nacos, Nogales and Agua Prieta. The report cites grossly ineffective oversight from the Department of Homeland Security. This has received some coverage, from Salon showcasing video of Border Patrol agents destroying jugs of water meant for crossers to a recent New York Times piece citing a lack of oversight for Border Patrol's excessive force.

The ACLU lobbied the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to call international attention to the plight of these border crossers at the hands of US law enforcement.

If ever an issue flew under the radar, this is it.