Censored 2009

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Eds: Peter Phillips and Andrew Roth, Seven Stories, £11.99

Censored 2009 is a collection of some of the stories which didn't hit the mainstream US news in 2007-2008. While the Winter Soldier testimonies of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans which exposed the brutality of the occupations were ignored, plenty of airtime was available for stories of actor David Hasselhoff's drinking and junk food binges. As the trials and tribulations of Britney Spears dominated the major news networks, news that US oil giant Chevron was complicit in Burma's dictatorship was relegated to the alternative media.

The book also offers deep analysis of coverage of the US regime's removal of habeas corpus and the victory of Hamas in Palestinian elections, and how the stories were given a pro-government spin.

The editors are also unafraid to challenge their own methods. One chapter is devoted to refuting claims that, rather than being censored, it is simply the opinions of news gatherers which give prominence to, say, socialite Paris Hilton going to jail over news on the same day that the rate of climate change had accelerated five-fold over previous predictions.

While these fascinating reports are based firmly in the US, it is still of use to media students, journalists or indeed anyone who reads a newspaper. If you enjoyed Nick Davies's excellent book Flat Earth News, this is an important piece of further reading.