(DRAFT -- SSU NEWS RELEASE -- CJ -- 5/17/87

)
May 21, 1987 # Contact: Barbara Foote'
(EDITOR'S NOTE: A NATIONAL PANEL OF MEDIA EXPERTS ANNUALLY SELECTS
THE TOP TEN UNDER-REPORTED NEWS STORIES OF THE YEAR)
PERSONAL HARASSMENT AND ADMINISTRATION CENSORSHIP
TOP UNDER-REPORTED NEWS STORIES OF 1986
ROHNERT PARK -- The official harassment of U.S. citizens
opposed to the Reagan administration's Central America policies topped
the list of 25 overlooked news stories of 1986 according to a national
panel of media experts.
The second most undercovered story of the year, cited by
Project Censored, warned of the growth of information control in the
United States including censorship, disinformation, and a new, broader
classification category.
Now in its 11th year, Project Censored, a national media
research effort conducted annually at Sonoma State University,
California, locates stories about significant issues which are not
widely publicized by the national news media.
Following are the top ten under-reported news stories of 1986
as announced by project director Carl Jensen, professor of
communication studies at Sonoma State University:
1.
Criticizing Central America Policies Can Be Dangerous.
Political opponents of the Reagan administration's Central America
policies were the targets of mysterious break-ins, Internal Revenue
Service audits, and FBI surveillance and interrogation. Congressman
Don Edwards (D-CA), a former FBI
agent, warned that the administration may be "using the various
independent agencies of the United States government for their
political purposes."
2.
Official Information Control . The American Library
Association documented Reagan administration efforts to eliminate,
restrict, and privatize government documents; in 1986 the government
officially launched a new "disinformation" program which permits it to
release deliberately false, incomplete, and misleading information; it
also developed a new category of "sensitive information" which
restricts public access to a broad range of previously unclassified
data.
3.
Personal Privacy Lost. In 1986 the FBI was given
extra- ordinary powers to look into private financial and telephonic
files of American citizens "suspected of being in the employ of a
foreign power." The Intelligence Authorization Bill also permits the
FBI to share such information with any other government agency, such
as the IRS, which has a relevant interest in it.
4.
CIA Paid for Pro Contra Media Coverage. Edgar
Chamorro, former head of contra communications in Central America,
testified that "approximately 15 Honduran journalists and broadcasters

Although the military has been under orders from Congress since 1984 to dispose of nerve gases by 1994. 8. the Soviet Union. According to investigators.S. 5. assassinated political enemies. the World Anti-Communist League (WACL).S.S. they were revealed last October. Defendants in the suit include retired Major Generals Richard Secord and John Singlaub.7 pounds of toxic plutonium-238. The Unheralded Breakthrough in Animal Cloning. leader. Despite the global risks involved. US Air Force Toxic Waste Scandal In Oklahoma City. retired U. and the United Kingdom. the Veterans' Administration was caught shredding thousands of case records of contested radiation injury claims filed by military personnel who had been exposed to nuclear radiation since the 1940's. were conducted from the mid-1940's until the 1970's by official U. The Lethal Shuttle: Plutonium Payload Scheduled. armed terrorists. Carlos Morales. if dispersed in fine pieces by an exlosion. Federal Radiation Tests on Americans. is so extreme that the John Birch Society has shunned it and advises its members to do likewise.S. including three "top editors." 6. 9. The Forgotten War in El Salvador.S. The other 15 under-reported stories of 1986 were: The Unknown War in West Papua. A leading scientist warned that the plutonium. Contragate: The Untold Story. The State of California and Bank of America Conspiracy to Hide a Discrimination Suit Settlement. reminiscent of the heinous experiments conducted by the Nazis and Japanese during World War II.S. military and CIA officials has trafficked in drugs. 7. nerve gases are currently being manufactured and tested in 46 U. The space shuttle scheduled to follow the tragic Challenger launch last year would have carried 46. The Ku Klux Klan Connection in the . Human radiation tests.. Marion Prison: The Longest Continual Lockdown in U. would release more plutonium radioactivity than the combined fallout from all nuclear weapons tests of the U. stolen from the U. a letter congratulating the WACL on its "leadership role" and "best wishes for every future success. President Reagan and the World Anti-Communist League. Senator Jesse Helms' Military Coup in Argentina. Feldene: The Deadly Anti-inflammatory Drug. The Mighty Oak Nuclear Test Accident Cover-up. in 26 states across the country. 1986. a Costa Rican professor of journalism. and subverted the will of Congress and the public with hundreds of millions of drug dollars at their disposal. government. Nerve Gas Production in Residential Areas. Veterans' Administration Destroys Evidence. Major General John Singlaub. Leonard Peltier: America's Unknown Political Prisoner. and businessman Albert Hakim. Prison History. a secret team of official and retired U. In August.were on the CIA payroll" and that contra influence extended to every major Honduran newspaper and television station. usually without the knowledge of the local residents. an international right-wing group. 10. Yet President Reagan sent its U. Affidavits submitted in a $17 million lawsuit filed last year by the Christic Institute reveal that for a quarter of a century. federal agencies and prestigious academic and medical institutions.S." received monthly payments from the CIA. communities. reported that at least eight Costa Rican journalists.S. NASA plans to go ahead with plutonium-fueled space probes when shuttle missions start again.

Annenberg School of Communications. Sonoma State University. Larry Crowell. Mike Jasper. Berkeley. professor. the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press issued a summary of actions by the Reagan administration to restrict public and media access to government information which includes 135 such actions. Ben Bagdikian. said "The most serious warning in this year's results is the administration's systematic assault on our free flow of information. University of California. nationally syndicated columnist and professor of law. The Plowshares Movement: Americans Jailed for Obeying International Law. Sonoma State University student researchers participating in the nationwide research effort were Peggy Sue Alberhasky. Professor of Communication. The Reagan administration's efforts at information control are serious and deserve as least as much media attention as that given the peccadillos of Gary Hart and Jim Bakker. Sarah Alcorn. Bebe O'Brien. writer and lecturer. Nelson. national news editor. Columbia University. Dean. Project Censored. Dr. Nicholas Johnson. Graduate School of Journalism. Donna Allen. Linguistics and Philosophy. PROJECT CENSORED JUDGES The panel of jurors who selected the top ten stories were: Dr.. George Gerbner. Charles L. California. THE ST. Rohnert Park. a project researcher in 1986. Jensen. Dave Hoffman. Dr. and writer on contemporary affairs. Klotzer. CA 94928.S. THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. Jessica Mitford. Herbert I. Dr. Schiller. national correspondent. The American Library Association has published a 33-page document which lists page after page of specific efforts by the Reagan administration to restrict government information. Dean. Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Karen Kitchens. Daren Decker. public lecturer. San Jose State University. Gannett Center for Media Studies. editor and publisher of MEDIA REPORT TO WOMEN. Executive Director. School of Education. Everette E. University of Pennsylvania. Laura Moore. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MacNEIL/LEHRER NEWSHOUR. An Immigration Law to Prevent Foreign Performers from Playing in the U. San Diego." Anyone interested in nominating a 1987 story for next year's project can send a copy of the story to Carl Jensen. Dennis. and Bruce Schwank. who originated the media research project in 1976. George Bush Applies Political Pressure for Friend's Hydroelectric Project. Recently. Dr. CIA Corrupts Academic Community Again. -- SSU -- (EDITOR'S NOTE: SIDEBAR STORY FOLLOWS) INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA CITED FOR EXPOSING "CENSORED" STORIES Following are the investigative journalists and media cited by Project Censored for exploring the top ten issues overlooked or under- . Brad Knickerbocker. editor and publisher. Nancy Neilson. Kathy Wolff. Dr. Noam Chomsky. Tom Montan. Jack L. LOUIS JOURNALISM REVIEW. University of California. was assistant project director. Dean.Murders of Black Children In Atlanta.

S. BRIARPATCH. 7. LOUIS JOURNALISM REVIEW.COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW." COMMON CAUSE." by Martha Honey. "Nerve Gas in Residential Areas.THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN. San Francisco." all by Karl Grossman. March/April 1987. "Volunteers Around U. Official Information Control -. Dodd. 1986. November.KRON-TV Target 4. Fall/Winter 1986. 10. 10/24/86." by Chris Robinson. The World Anti-Communist League -. July/August 1986. 3. reprinted in ST." by Mark Perry. "Red Tape and Radioactivity. "Plutonium Cover-up?. Winter 1987.THE NEW YORK TIMES. "News Not In The News: Reach Out and Crush Someone." and 3/15/86. Personal Privacy Lost -. 5.VVA VETERAN. Mead. 9." by Don Goldberg. Jonathan Dann. Radiation Tests -. 2/18-20/87.THE NATION." p A20. 8. 2/22/86. UTNE READER. 6. August 1986. Submitted to Radiation. Government: 2. Center for Investigative Reporting. Washington Office.RECON. Angus Mackenzie.American Library Association." and January 1987. and Ronnie. -- SSU -- . November 1986. Loonies. Criticizing Central America Policies -. "Contra coverage -. Sylvia Chase.Plutonium Payload -. 12/3/86+. Contragate: The Untold Story -." 12/86. "The Lethal Shuttle. "Scandal Hints Plague VA. "The Scandal Deepens. "In League with The Devil: The World Anti-Communist League. Nerve Gas Production in Residential Areas -.paid for by the CIA.S. by Scott and Jon Lee Anderson. 4. "Less Access to Less Information By and About the U.INSIDE THE LEAGUE. The Lethal Shuttle -. "Moonies. Heanue. CIA Paid For Pro Contra Media Coverage -.reported by the national news media in 1986: 1. "Contragate: The Costa Rica Connection." by George Martin Manz. Veterans' Administration Destroys Evidence -." by Michael Emery.THE NATIONAL REPORTER." by Eric Selbin. 2. by Anne A. 1986.