May 9, 1996 Vol . 6, No. 1
All the news you didn't hear:
Project Censored's top 10 list
A list of the news stories you were least likely to hear about in 1995 is
topped by a story on how a proposed U.S. environmental law could harm Canada's
air and water.
That's according to Project Censored Canada, which produces an annual list
of the top 10 under-reported news stories. The project, in its third year,
involves communication faculty and students from Simon Fraser University
and the University of Windsor, as well as members of the Canadian Association
The top story, which originated in The Windsor Star, is about a U.S. bill
passed last May which lifts protection for wetlands and allows states to
opt out of environmental water regulations deemed too expensive or unenforceable.
Other stories selected by a national panel of judges, including journalists,
authors and academics, deal with a range of health, defence, financial and
human rights issues. Among them are stories on:
Criteria for consideration includes whether the story significantly affects
a large number of people, how much coverage it received, how well it was
documented, and whether identifying the story through the project would
encourage further media and public attention.
- how American-style health care is coming to Canada, as more U.S. companies
are getting involved north of the border due to cuts in federal transfer
payments for Medicare;
- how the U.S. military plans to 'alter' the northern ionosphere via
construction of a military radio physics research facility in remote Alaska;
- alternative approaches to paying down the federal debt;
- the untold costs of New Zealand's economic revolution, touted by some
Canadians as a model for debt reduction; the public debt is now twice as
large as when it began its restructuring program;
- how governments are turning a 'blind eye' to the violence that persists
at the Mohawk community of Kanehsatake in Quebec;
- how the Canadian news media is being 'mum' on human rights abuses
in Mexico two years after NAFTA;
- the display of military industry products at 'family' events, such
as the Abbotsford Airshow;
- the exploitation of home-based Canadian garment workers, and
- the selling of Canada's remaining CF-5 jet fighter, midway through
a costly upgrade program.
A short list of 16 stories was produced by a team of SFU students, who
researched each of the stories. "We're hoping this list will stimulate
journalists and the public to find out more about these stories," says
Donald Gutstein, a communication lecturer at SFU and project co-director.
Project Censored Canada is modelled after a project in the U.S.
© Simon Fraser University, Media and Public Relations