I’m not going to call Project Censored unbearably lame; since I get my news mostly from the Washington Post, Salon, and occasional forays into The Economist, I’m sure that I’m better informed about some of these stories than people who get their news coverage solely from television. But there’s an air of preaching to the converted here; is it a mystery to anyone who’d read the Project Censored list that (as per story #8) drug companies put money behind products that are often of questionable value for their cost? (Is it a surprise to anyone who reads any paper? Especially after the New York Times Magazine did its big story on the marketing push that Schering Plough used to shove Claratin into the market?) It’s a good thing that someone’s trying to get underreported stories some attention and it’s a good thing to point out that important media outlets like the Times have inconsistent standards about how much sourcing they need and how to spin a story; the Wen Ho Lee debacle made it clear that journalistic spin remains a powerful force in the larger world. I just wish that alternative media put less emphasis on stories that didn’t get larger coverage and more on continuing to break stories so important that big newspapers and television (which usually follows the papers’ lead, albeit in the Bizarro World of TV news) had to pick them up.

Hey, it’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about spring. Nope, not baseball season or the annual thrashing the Penguins give the Capitals in the playoffs. Not even the Cadbury Bunny’s annual leadup to Easter. No, it’s time for Project Censored‘s underreported stories list to break. I’m always of two minnds about Project Censored; it’s a noble goal, and often the stories really are important, but none of these stories are "censored" as such, and misusing the word weakens the case. "Project Ignored by Major Media, as Predicted by the Chomskyian Model of News Control" doesn’t quite do it, I suppose. And except for story #4 (in which it is alleged that America bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade with malice aforethought) all of these stories were either familiar to me or of somewhat dubious importance. OSHA’s failure to protect blue-collar workers and the use of H1-B visas are hardly breaking news — the rhetoric on Project Censored’s recap of the H1-B story is embarassingly overheated. Story #3, CNN’s employment of Army psychological operations officers, was covered in TV Guide, for crying out loud!

I’m not going to call Project Censored unbearably lame; since I get my news mostly from the Washington Post, Salon, and occasional forays into The Economist, I’m sure that I’m better informed about some of these stories than people who get their news coverage solely from television. But there’s an air of preaching to the converted here; is it a mystery to anyone who’d read the Project Censored list that (as per story #8) drug companies put money behind products that are often of questionable value for their cost? (Is it a surprise to anyone who reads any paper? Especially after the New York Times Magazine did its big story on the marketing push that Schering Plough used to shove Claratin into the market?) It’s a good thing that someone’s trying to get underreported stories some attention and it’s a good thing to point out that important media outlets like the Times have inconsistent standards about how much sourcing they need and how to spin a story; the Wen Ho Lee debacle made it clear that journalistic spin remains a powerful force in the larger world. I just wish that alternative media put less emphasis on stories that didn’t get larger coverage and more on continuing to break stories so important that big newspapers and television (which usually follows the papers’ lead, albeit in the Bizarro World of TV news) had to pick them up. None