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Project Censored Canada established
as America's Censored Newsletter dies

Barrie Zwicker


Exposure of censorship-the de facto kind that occurs regularly in our so called "free democracy"-played to a 1-1 tie recently.

The win was the establishment of Project Censored Canada by the Canadian Association of Journalists in conjunction with Simon Fraser University.

It will be patterned on the original Project Censored (see accompanying review). Project Censored Canada is inviting submissions: well documented stories of major public significance, for instance involving life-and-death matters and/or involving or potentially involving large numbers of people. The key point is that these must be stories relatively "buried", stories not picked up, not followed UP, not commented upon.

To submit a story for consideration by the judges or for more information contact Dr. Bob Hackett, Associate Professor, Department of Communications, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1 S6. His office phone number is (604) 291-3687.1nternet: hackett@sfu.ca.

The loss was the folding in May of America's Censored Newsletter. Age: one year. It was published by the indefatiguable Carl Jensen, who launched the original Project Censored and who edits the Censored yearbook.

As a subscriber I can attest that the monthly newsletter maintained my awareness of ongoing censorship-and my adrenalin-in a way no other publication did. The final edition, for instance included these stories:

  • An environmental disaster that will make the Exxon Valdez spill pale by comparison, one that will one day dwarf the U.S. savings and loan scandal in cost, is going unreported hi the mainstream media. It's the selenium-contaminated groundwater drainoff from irrigated lands in California and 13 other states.
  • U.S. mainstream media continue to ignore the dramatic decreases in cigarette consumption brought about in Canada by the healthy increase in taxes on cigarettes.
  • In fiscal 992 in the USA an average of 17,000 government documents were declared secret-daily, While that was a decrease of 11 percent from the previous year, the total number of "classified" documents continues to mount in the USA. This is because of a "significant decline" in the number of documents being declassified.
  • None of the 1992 Pulitzer Prizes winners dealt with any of the top ten censored stories of that year. Most Pulitzer Prize-winning stories dealt with death and destruction: hurricanes, riots, wars.
  • Space shuttle stories are as routine as the shuttles themselves. Equally routine is the de facto censoring from these stories of the reality that NASA space shuttles significantly help destroy the ozone layer. This destruction was the number four censored story of 1990.

Up into the sky, down into the memory hole.


Published in Sources, Summer 1993

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