Feature Story: Project Censored
Students and Faculty Contribute to Project Censored
Multimedia Journalism majors Ivan Konza, Brittany Cocilova, and Joe Raspolich were recognized for their research by media activist group Project Censored in the most recent volume, Censored 2014: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2012-2013 (Seven Stories Press, 2013).
Project Censored was established in 1976 by faculty in the Department of Communication Studies and the Department of Sociology at Sonoma State University. Each year the non-profit organization enlists undergraduate journalism students and faculty from around the world to research published stories on important topics that receive little-to-no coverage in mainstream commercial news outlets.
The story nominations are researched by students and initially vetted by faculty evaluators at their respective institutions. Upon submission the story proposals are assessed by an international body of journalists and scholars. The process culminates each year in a ranking of the 25 most important stories that are featured in a volume edited by Project Censored Co-directors Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth.
Konza, Cocilova, and Raspolich researched the stories in Professor James Tracy’s Public Opinion and Modernity class. In Spring 2013 over 200 such story nominations were submitted to Project Censored from participating universities. Konza’s proposed story, "The US Has Left Iraq with an Epidemic of Cancer and Birth Defects," variously reported in the UK Independent, UK Guardian, and Democracy Now! ranked at Number 12. This recognition was shared with student researcher Mark David Prophete of Indian River State College. Cocilova’s research on the story, “Prominent Establishment Journalists Turn Whistleblowers Over News Censorship,” reported in the UK Guardian, Russian Today, and Natural News, received an honorable mention. Joe Raspolich’s proposal, “Pesticides May Lead to Cancer and Autism in Children,” also received honorable mention. Each story selection was discussed at length in the book’s first chapter.
James Tracy’s story, "Wireless Technology: A Looming Health Crisis," published by the Center for Research on Globalization in July 2012, was voted Number 14.
In Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 Tracy’s students have researched over forty story nominations for possible inclusion in the forthcoming volume, Censored 2015, to be published in October.