Reporters and photographers from several news media organizations say BP and Coast Guard officials have prevented them from getting full access to the Gulf sites where wildlife and ecosystem damage is the worst.
In one incident, a CBS news crew filmed Coast Guard officials in a boat waving the news crew away from an oil-fouled coastal area, saying "It's BP's rules, nor ours."
A Coast Guard spokesman later posted a note on the joint USCG-BP "Unified Command" website saying news media were only prohibited when there were safety issues or they were in the way of operations.
The Coast Guard had earlier warned media helicopters not to fly too low near bird nesting areas, where they risked scaring or killing birds.
Reports of problems continued after the Coast Guard clarification.
- "BP's Photo Blockade of the Gulf Oil Spill," Newsweek, May 26, 2010, by Matthew Philips.
- "CBS Denied Access to Shoot Oil Spill," Media Bistro, May 20, 2010, by Joe Ciarallo with Video.
- "Media Access to Impacted Areas," Deepwater Horizon Unified Command Release (FAQs), May 19, 2010, by Lt. Commander Rob Wyman, USCG.
- Press Release: "Stop Flights Over Wildlife Refuge," Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center, May 8, 2010.
- "'It's BP’s Oil',” Mother Jones, May 24, 2010, by Mac McClelland.
- "News Outlets Claim Access to Gulf Oil-Spill Site Is Limited," Associated Press, June 1, 2010.
- "Dying, Dead Marine Wildlife Paint Dark, Morbid Picture of Gulf Coast Following Oil Spill," New York Daily News, June 2, 2010, by Matthew Lysiak and Helen Kennedy.
- "BP Media Clampdown: No Photos of Dead Animals, Please," Huffington Post (Eat The Press), June 2, 2010, by Jason Linkins.