What stories should be big but aren’t? Since 1976, Sonoma State University’s Project Censored has been making an annual list of stories the media either missed completely or grossly underreported, and the latest just came out. 

Top blown story: The number of Iraqi casualties of the war in Iraq. Estimates have ranged up to 1.2 million, but nobody knows for sure and the media have shown little interest in finding out, according to Project Censored, much less how many have been civilians killed by American troops. “The dominant narrative on Iraq—that most of the violence against Iraqis is being perpetrated by Iraqis themselves and is not our responsibility—is ill conceived,” it claims.

Here’s the entire list, which for some reason has been labeled the “top 25 censored stories for 2009.”

Conspicuously missing from it is the impending collapse of the American lending system. Which shows that some big stories go underreported because nobody understands how big they are, not even media critics with an eagle eye cocked for underreported big stories. Project Censored’s annual picks are interesting but eccentric. Even after 9-11 Project Censored didn’t think to list Al Qaeda’s plot to attack America as a story that should have received more coverage. On the other hand, number 24 in the latest list is the alleged underreporting of suspicions voiced by a member of the Japanese parliament that 9-11 was a put-up job — with professional pilots at the controls of the planes and bombs planted inside the buildings that collapsed.