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Project Censored 2013

Ten stories the media failed to cover – or covered all wrong – in 2013

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The world's billionaires added $241 billion to their collective net worth in 2012. That's an economic recovery, right?

That gain, coupled with the world's richest people's new total worth of $1.9 trillion (more than the GDP of Canada), wasn't reported by some kooky socialist group, but by Bloomberg News. But few journalists are asking the important question: Why?

Project Censored points to journalist George Monbiot, who highlights a reduction of taxes and tax enforcement, the privatization of public assets and the weakening of labor unions.

His conclusions are backed up by the United Nations' Trade and Development Report from 2012, which noted how the trend hurts everyone: "Recent empirical and analytical work reviewed here mostly shows a negative correlation between inequality and growth."

7. Merchant of death and nuclear weapons

The report highlighted by Project Censored on the threat of nuclear war is an example not of censorship, strictly, but a desire for media reform.

Project Censored highlighted a study from Physicians for Social Responsibility that said 1 billion people could starve in the decade after a nuclear detonation. Corn production in the U.S. would decline by an average of 10 percent for an entire decade and food prices would make food inaccessible to hundreds of millions of the world's poorest.

This is not journalism in the classic sense, Gladstone says. In traditional journalism, as it's played out since the early 20th century, news requires an element of something new in order to garner reporting – not a looming threat or danger.

So in this case, what Project Censored identified was the need for what it calls "solutions journalism."

"Solutions journalism," Sarah van Gelder wrote in the foreword to Censored 2014, "must investigate not only the individual innovations, but also the larger pattern of change – the emerging ethics, institutions and ways of life that are coming into existence."

8. Bank interests inflate global prices by 35 to 40 percent

Does 35 percent of everything bought in the United States go to interest? Professor Margrit Kennedy of the University of Hanover thinks so, and she says it's a major funnel of money from the 99 percent to the rich.

In her 2012 book, Occupy Money, Kennedy wrote that tradespeople, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers along the chain of production rely on credit. Her figures were initially drawn from the German economy, but Ellen Brown of the Web of Debt and Global Research said she found similar patterns in the United States.

This "hidden interest" has sapped the growth of other industries, she said, lining the pockets of the financial sector.

So if interest is stagnating so many industries, why would journalists avoid the topic?

Few economists have echoed her views, and few experts emerged to back up her assertions. Notably, she's a professor in an architectural school, with no formal credentials in economics.

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