A News Blog

U.S. gov't and BP under fire for treatment of press during oil spill

The “slow-motionoil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico continues to be a major story, but journalists are complaining that BP (the oil company leasing the troubled rig and leading cleanup efforts) and government officials are restricting their efforts to cover the crisis.

CBS crew threatened with arrest for filming on Gulf Coast

Newsweek reports a host of stories from reporters who say the Coast Guard and BP are using a massive restricted flight zone and control over affected areas on the ground to prevent media workers from videotaping and photographing the spill’s effects. Such limits, journalists complain, mean all access to the spill is on BP-controlled boats and aircraft where the company controls what the media is able to see and when they see it.

In Washington, media/government relations are tense too. A chorus of criticism combined with increasing negative coverage has put President Barack Obama’s administration on the media defensive, Yahoo News reports. Reporters say the White House is dodging the media’s questions on its handling of the spill. They have restated their recurring complaint that the president rarely gives news conferences.

Other Related Headlines:
» BP, Coast Guard officers block journalists from filming oil-covered beach (The Huffington Post)
» The Daily Glob—Gulf Oil Spill News (Society of Environmental Journalists)
» Stories on cutting through BP's PR spin (PR Watch)