Six UVM Students Featured in Anthology of Best Undergraduate Investigative Journalism
- By Robert Williams
Six University of Vermont students from the Community Development and Applied Economics program are featured in the new book Censored 2018: Press Freedoms in a “Post Truth” Society.
An annual anthology published by California-based media watchdog organization Project Censored, Censored 2018 compiles the top 25 student-written investigative news stories from the past year. The six UVM students -- Clare Charlesworth, Audrey Tuck, Bridgette McShea, Olivia Jones, Emily von Weise and Kätchen McElwain -- developed and submitted their stories as part of their spring 2017 class Journalism 2.0 with Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) professor Rob Williams.
Each year, a national panel of judges chooses 25 student written news stories to be included in the annual censored book. This year, students’ articles were selected from a pool of 350 entries from 12 different colleges. Stories written by University of Vermont CDAE students comprise nearly 25 percent of this year’s top 25 stories, a significant increase from the two UVM student written stories included in last year’s book.
The six stories are McElwain’s “The Real Fraud of the 2016 Election: GOP Voter Suppression"; Jones’ “Big Data and Dark Money behind the 2016 Election”; McShea’s “Antibiotic Resistant ‘Superbugs’ Threaten Health and Foundations of Modern Medicine”; Tuck’s “DNC Claims Right to Select Presidential Candidate”; von Weise’s “Right-Wing Money Promotes Model Legislation to Restrict Free Speech on University Campuses”; and Charlesworth’s “Shell Understood Climate Change as Early as 1991 -- and Ignored It."
Founded in 1976 by Dr. Carl Jensen at Sonoma State University, Project Censored “educates students and the public about the importance of a truly free press for democratic self-government ... exposing and opposing news censorship and promoting independent investigative journalism, media literacy, and critical thinking.” Students in participating classes at universities across North America research and write “validated independent news stories (VINS)” that have “gone missing” from corporate news media coverage.
Student stories are submitted to Project Censored and most are posted on the Project Censored website. A national panel of judges chooses the top 25 stories to be published in the annual Censored book. Noam Chomsky calls the project “a crucial contribution to the hope for a more just and democratic society.”
Williams developed his class Journalism 2.0 around news, censorship, independent civic journalism and the “propaganda model of news,” developed by Edward Hermann and Noam Chomsky in the 1980s, a conceptual model often referred to in Censored books. “I’m incredibly proud of our hard-working CDAE students,” said Williams. “We will continue our CDAE partnership with Project Censored this coming spring in our Journalism 2.0 class.”
Censored 2018 is available through Amazon and at independent bookstores.