WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans (Channel 6), found that BP's highly publicized statement that it is not barring news media from witnessing the cleanup, or its failure, is in fact not true. See video of this and other examples, and get contact info for the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center if you've been denied access.
Journalism & Media
WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans (Channel 6) find that BP's highly publicized statement that it is not barring news media from witnessing the cleanup, or its failure, are in fact not true. Without any legal authority, BP "security" contractors aggressively seek to intimidate and drive away reporters trying to cover the spill and response on public beaches.
"U.S. EPA has quietly released a full list of ingredients in the two controversial dispersants BP PLC is using to combat the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, following weeks of complaints from members of Congress and public health advocates that the dispersant manufacturer had kept its complete formula a secret from the public."
"Journalists struggling to document the impact of the oil rig explosion have repeatedly found themselves turned away from public areas affected by the spill, and not only by BP and its contractors, but by local law enforcement, the Coast Guard and government officials."
"CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A state agency that oversees oil and gas development voted Tuesday to require energy companies to disclose what chemicals they're pumping underground to improve the flow of oil and gas into well bores."
"BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company's official website."
Oil spill National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen has put out a written directive that news media have "uninhibited access" to spill response operations unless security or safety problems prevent it. It is not clear whether his order will have any impact on BP.
"If you happen to be wondering if it's any easier to get access to an oil-befouled public beach/wildlife refuge near Grand Isle, Louisiana, if you're teamed up with a fancypants PBS producer, I scouted out the answer today: No."
Workers in the "Vessels of Opportunity" Gulf spill cleanup program had to sign a contract prohibiting them from talking to the news media or disclosing "proprietary and confidential" information.
The WatchDog's special Gulf oil spill issue includes stories on media access problems, withholding of information by US EPA and misleading statements by BP, mystery dispersant ingredients, BP's new ex-Cheney spokesperson, prohibiting cleanup workers talking to media, and detaining rig survivors till they sign two statements.