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United States of Distraction
October 15, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
The role of news media in a free society is to investigate, inform, and provide a crucial check on political power. But does it?
It’s no secret that the goal of corporate-owned media is to increase the profits of the few, not to empower the many. As a result, people are increasingly immersed in an information system structured to reinforce their social biases and market to their buying preferences. Journalism’s essential role has been drastically compromised, and Donald Trump’s repeated claims of “fake news” and framing of the media as “an enemy of the people” have made a bad scenario worse.
Written in the spirit of resistance and hope, United States of Distraction offers a clear, concise appraisal of our current situation, and presents readers with action items for how to improve it.
Dr. Nolan Higdon is professor of History and Communication at California State University, East Bay. His academic work primarily focuses on news media, propaganda, critical media literacy, and social justice pedagogies. He has been a guest commentator for news media outlets such as The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox. He is a board member for the Media Freedom Foundation, frequent contributor to Project Censored’s annual Censored books series, a co-founder of the Global Critical Media Literacy Project, a program advisor for Sacred Heart University Media Literacy and Digital Culture Graduate Program, a steering committee member for the Union for Democratic Communications, and co-host of the Project Censored radio show.
Mickey Huff is director of Project Censored and the president of the Media Freedom Foundation. He has edited or coedited ten volumes of in the Censored book series and contributed numerous chapters to these annuals since 2008. He has also co-authored essays on media and propaganda for other scholarly publications. He is professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College, where he co-chairs the History Department; he is also a lecturer in the Communications Department at California State University, East Bay, and has taught Sociology of Media at Sonoma State University. Huff is executive producer and cohost of The Project Censored Show, the weekly syndicated program that originates from KPFA in Berkeley. He is a cofounding member of the Global Critical Media Literacy Project (gcml.org), sits on the advisory board for the Media Literacy and Digital Culture graduate program at Sacred Heart University, and serves on the editorial board for the journal Secrecy and Society. Huff works with the national outreach committee of Banned Books Week, the American Library Association, and the National Coalition Against Censorship, of which Project Censored is a member. He is the critical media literacy consultant for the educational Internet startup, Tribeworthy.com, He regularly gives interviews on critical media literacy, propaganda, censorship issues, and contemporary historiography. He is a musician and composer and lives with his family in Northern California.