But in its nearly four decades of existence, Project Censored’s purview – corporate journalism and the stories that simply don’t get enough attention – has had to evolve with the explosion of the digital media landscape, providing context not only to what gets covered, but how it gets covered.
Take the latest burst of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, says Project Censored Director Mickey Huff.
“It’s getting plenty of headlines and coverage,” Huff says. “But it’s the perspective that’s not available in most of the coverage that people have access to. If critical thought and media literacy skills aren’t behind the keyboard, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack – people, especially students, just don’t know what to trust.”
Project Censored’s longstanding campaign to improve those media literacy skills – the group calls it “flexing your media muscles” – caught the attention of real estate agents, Sonoma resident Christopher Oscar and Petaluma resident Doug Hecker, a former Project Censored student. The pair spent six years crafting Project Censored: The Movie, a documentary about the organization that was released in 2013.
The film is Oscar and Hecker “telling their story about us and describing how average people can get involved and make a difference in the world,” Huff says.
Huff, Oscar and Hecker will be in the house at the Library event for a post-screening Q&A. Huff says the film has helped the organization’s visibility beyond its core audience, a boon for a group that is often “preaching to the choir.”
“It reaches beyond the choir and reaches the population beyond those that would ever pick up one of our books,” he says.
Project Censored was recently honored at the National Whistleblower Summit in Washington, D.C., receiving the Pillar Award for Persons of Conscience in New Media and Journalism on National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
“We’re encouraging people to think critically – to actively search for media and stories rather than just sitting down with a clicker in your hand,” Huff says.
The 411: Project Censored:The Movie screens on August 13 7pm at the Mill Valley Library, 375 Throckmorton Avenue, with a Q&A with filmmakers Christopher Oscar and Doug Hecker, along with Project Censored Director Mickey Huff, to follow. Registration recommended. Click here to register.