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Niagara University students place third in national competition held by media watchdog organization

by jmaloni
Mon, May 23rd 2011 10:30 am

NU selection to appear as chapter in Project Censored's 'Censored 2012'

Uncovering one of the year's underreported national news stories will, ironically, heap significant exposure upon a team of Niagara University students.

A submission by NU students George Antzoulis, Vincent Caruso, John M. Curtin, Maria Rose and Molliann Zahm recently placed third in a nationwide competition for the 25 most censored/underreported U.S. news stories for 2010-11. The selection was made by judges from Project Censored, a 35-year-old media watchdog organization founded by Carl Jensen.

By being chosen, the NU students' submission will appear as a chapter in the 2012 edition of "Censored," an annual published anthology dedicated to exposing the previous year's most media-censored news stories. The book, published by Seven Stories Press, is scheduled to hit shelves on Oct. 7.

"I am thrilled and proud of my investigative research students for this achievement," exclaimed Dr. Brian Murphy, an associate professor of communication studies at NU and the faculty member who urged students to make submissions. "In the field of national independent media, this is the equivalent of winning an Academy Award."

While all 25 students in Murphy's CMS 335 ("Investigation and Reporting for the Media") course took part in the research and will be credited in the book, Antzoulis, Caruso, Curtin, Rose and Zahm were specifically cited for their role in revealing a story entitled "Obama Authorizes International Assassination Campaign."

The Obama administration has quietly put into practice an 'incomplete idea' left over from the Bush II presidency: creating a de facto 'presidential international assassination program.' Court documents, evidence offered by Human Rights Watch and a special United Nations report allege that U.S citizens suspected of encouraging "terror" had been put on "death lists." Reports of the 'death' list' say Obama's Director of National Intelligence told a Congressional hearing that the program was within the rights of the Executive Branch of the government and did not need to be revealed. At least two people are known to have been murdered by Central Intelligence Agency operatives under the program. When the program was challenged in a New York City court the judge refused to rule saying, "there are circumstances in which the executive's decision to kill U.S. citizens overseas is constitutionally committed to the political branches and judicially unreviewable."

Investigative journalists, media professors and their students from across the U.S., Canada and Europe, submitted more than 300 articles.

Every year since 1976, Project Censored, a university-wide project at Sonoma State University founded by Jensen, directed for many years by Peter Phillips, and now under the leadership of Mickey Huff, has produced a Top 25 list of underreported news stories and a book, "Censored," dedicated to the stories that, according to the organization, ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship. Additional information on Project Censored can be found online at www.projectcensored.org.

Seven Stories Press has published "Censored" since 1994, featuring the top stories listed democratically in order of importance according to students, faculty and a national panel of judges. Each of the top stories is presented at length, alongside updates from the investigative reporters who broke the stories. Beyond the top 25 stories, additional chapters delve further into timely media topics, including "censored" news and media analysis, updates on junk food news and the state of media bias and alternative coverage around the world. To receive an alert when "Censored" 2012 becomes available, visit http://www.sevenstories.com/book/?GCOI=58322100995860.

For more on Niagara University's communication studies program, go online to www.niagara.edu/communication.

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