Project Censored Letter to Narco News

Project Censored director Peter Phillips sent this emailed response to my June 14 essay: About that “2007 Project Censored Award to Al Giordano”: Thanks… but No Thanks!.

I will post it here (uncensored, of course!) and then, a few minutes from now, post a reply as a comment...

Dear Al Giordano,

I did read your longer piece on your website, and I certainly understand your points.  Yes, I am a paid faculty person, and I run Project Censored as an overload and get zero money for doing it...

Yes, Seven Stories is a private for profit business, but they are certainly not one of the big exploitive houses, and they publish a lot of good progressive material and they too barely get by.  Project Censored raises money to keep our two employees paid and cover our overhead primarily by selling the annual yearbook through our website and direct mail.  Seven stories provides the books at their cost. Over 100 students a year participate and yes they earn college credit for the effort and many of them go off into the world to do good work for human betterment and it is the experience of Project Censored that gives them a foundation.   You are also correct in saying that the selling of 15,000 books in English, and 1000s more in Spanish, Arabic, and Italian is probably not reaching as many people as your website.  However, the people who read the book are mostly people who would not have been likely to have seen your work in the first place.  In addition, over 12 million people a year visit the Project Censored website, where your story  would have been linked.

It is honorable that you live low income.  My personal goal is to find income levels that meet minimum needs for everyone in the world and I fully support the UN declaration of human rights.  

So what are you really mad with us about?  Our national judges are listed in the yearbook, and we have been doing the same process for 31 years.  It would be very cool if we could give $ awards to the journalists, but we barely have enough income to keep our doors open. We do believe in paying a living wage to our two employees with full fringe benefits.

We would be happy to have you review the synopsis of the four stories selected for the Mexico election story this year, all you need to do was ask. We are on a tight deadline as we get the book ready for the Fall Semester each year, and it is used in classrooms all over the county.

Yes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders sell our book.  So does Working Assets, and hundreds of small independent bookstores like North Light Books here in Cotati.  In fact I lead the anti Barnes and Noble effort when our university president sold off our state run bookstore last year.

I totally support the idea of building independent media, which is exactly what Project Censored has been doing for 31 years.

Our national judges represent a broad both academics and non-academics there names are listed below.

I can be reached directly at 707-664-2588


Peter Phillips


ROBIN ANDERSEN, associate professor and chair, Department of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University

LIANE CLORFENE-CASTEN, cofounder and president of Chicago Media Watch,.award-winning journalist with credits in national periodicals such as E Magzine, The Nation, Mother Jones, Ms., Environmental Health Perspectives, In These Times, and Business Ethics. She is the author of Breast Cancer: Poisons, Profits, and Prevention.

LENORE FOERSTEL, Women for Mutual Security, facilitator of the Progressive International Media Exchange (PRIME)

ROBERT HACKETT, professor, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University; Co-director of News Watch Canada since 1993..His most recent publications include Democratizing Global Media: One World, Many Struggles (Co-Edited With Yuezhi Zhao, 2005), And Remaking Media: The Struggle To Democratize Public Communication (With William K. Carroll, 2006)

CARL JENSEN, professor emeritus communication studies, Sonoma State University, founder and former director of Project Censored; author of Censored: The News That Didn’t Make the News and Why (1990-1996) and 20 Years of Censored News (1997)

SUT JHALLY, professor of communications and executive director of the Media Education Foundation, University of Massachusetts

NICHOLAS JOHNSON*, professor, College of Law, University of Iowa; former FCC Commissioner (1966-1973); author of How to Talk Back to Your Television Set

RHODA H. KARPATKIN, president of Consumers Union, non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports

CHARLES L. KLOTZER, editor and publisher emeritus, St. Louis Journalism Review

NANCY KRANICH, past president of the American Library Association (ALA)

JUDITH KRUG, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association (ALA); editor of Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom; Freedom to Read Foundation News; and Intellectual Freedom Action News

MARTIN LEE, investigative journalist, media critic and author. He was an original founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting in New York and former editor of Extra Magazine.

DENNIS LOO, Associate professor of Sociology at California State University Polytechnic university, Pomona, Co-editor of Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney, Seven Stories press, 2006

WILLIAM LUTZ, professor of English, Rutgers University; former editor of The Quarterly Review of Doublespeak; author of The New Doublespeak: Why No One Knows What Anyone’s Saying Anymore (1966)

JULIANNE MALVEAUX, PH.D., economist and columnist, King Features and Pacifica radio talk show host

MARK CRISPIN MILLER, professor of media Ecology, New York University; director of the Project on Media Ownership

BRIAN MURPHY, Associate Professor Communications Studies Niagara University specializing in Media Programming and Management, Investigation and Reporting, Media History and Theory and International Communication.
JACK L. NELSON,* professor emeritus, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University; author of 16 books, including Critical Issues in Education (1996), and more than 150 articles

MICHAEL PARENTI, political analyst, a lecturer, and author of numerous books, including The Culture Struggle, 2006. Superpatriotism, 2004. The Assassination of Julius Caesar, A People's History of Ancient Rome 2003. The Terrorism Trap, September 11 and Beyond, 2002. Democracy for the Few, 2001

BARBARA SEAMAN, lecturer; author of The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth (Hyperion 2003); The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill; Free and Female; Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones; and other books; cofounder of the National Women’s Health Network

NANCY SNOW, professor, author and writer; College of Communications, California State University-Fullerton; Senior Fellow, USC Center on Public Diplomacy; Adjunct Professor, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication; author, Propaganda, Inc. (Seven Stories, 2002), Information War (Seven Stories, 2004), co-editor with Yahya R. Kamalipour, War, Media and Propaganda (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).

SHEILA RABB WEIDENFELD,* president of D.C. Productions, Ltd.; former press secretary to Betty Ford

*Indicates having been a Project Censored judge since our founding in 1976

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.