Interesting footage from Louisiana TV station WDSU-TV showing its reporter arguing the toss with BP security guards attempting to stop him from interviewing clean-up workers on a local beach affected by the oil spill.
The station’s reporter is particularly interested in testing out a recent memo to the media from BP’s chief operating office Doug Suttles, that says “BP has not and will not prevent anyone working in the clean-up operation from sharing his or her own experiences or opinions.”
Rich Matthews, a videojournalist with Associated Press, decided to report from the Gulf of Mexico’s oil-slicked waters. Not content with looking overboard, he went diving, intending first to go 60 feet but having to cut this back to 20 feet due to the lack of visibility.
I jump off the boat into the thickest, reddest patch of oil I’ve ever seen (…) I open my eyes and realise my mask is already smeared. I can’t see anything and we’re just five seconds into the dive.
More than a month into the disaster, a host of anecdotal evidence is emerging from reporters, photographers, and TV crews in which BP and Coast Guard officials explicitly target members of the media, restricting and denying them access to oil-covered beaches, staging areas for clean-up efforts, and even flyovers.
Journalists from CBS, Mother Jones and the Times Picayune have been denied access to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to reports, raising concerns that the disaster will not be properly documented for the public.