Campus: Sonoma State University -- November 28, 2000

Project Censored Breaks Into Radio With Documentaries On Journalism's Decline, Cancer Treatments

Sonoma State University's nationally-recognized Project Censored is now producing monthly radio documentaries on CDs for public and community stations across the country, reports Director Peter Phillips.

Coordinated by talk show host Pat Thurston, the 60-minute documentaries, called "For the Record," are produced by students and volunteers who conduct the interviews, sometimes of high-profile experts, and decide upon themes for each program. Each program is uploaded to the central National Public Radio web site for potential use by 800 NPR stations throughout the United States.

The show is the brainchild of staff and student interns of Project Censored, a nationally-recognized media project that researches and then publishes a list of the top 25 stories most neglected by mainstream media every year.

"A large portion of the show is interviewing journalists, pundits, scholars and the people involved in whatever the issue may be," said Thurston. "We do 60 minutes on an issue that has received little media attention, not necessarily a politically-correct story of the year. "

Walter Cronkite, Peter Arnett and Lowell Bergman are among those featured in the two-part pilot program called "For The Record: American News: Democracy in Jeopardy?"

Part One looks at the vital relationship between a free press and a free society. It cites specific examples of censorship, particularly self censorship, manifested in American newsrooms. Howard Zinn, Danny Schecter, Robert McChesney, Amy Goodman and others discuss what the role of media must be in a democracy.

Part Two highlights discussions with some of the most controversial journalists in recent history--Gary Webb, formerly of the San Jose Mercury News; April Oliver, formerly of CNN; Jane Akre, formerly of Fox.

"We are committed to providing one show the last Tuesday of every month," said Thurston. For The Record plans a November show called "Anatomy of an Election" and a program in December on "Cancer in Our Lives." Theme for the January, 2001 program is "Shattered Justice--America's Corrections System."

For further information on For The Record radio documentaries or to receive a radio program on CD, call (707) 664-2500.

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