Concerned about reports that reporters are being denied access to public areas and public officials in regards to the BP oil spill story, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) has announced it will begin work to open up the story to full coverage by the press, including all broadcast media.
The union is initiating a program to monitor instances of denial of access in coverage of the disaster at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig facility.
“We are concerned about continuing reports that journalists are being denied access to sources and public places necessary for them to fully cover this important story,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “The causes and effects of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon must be uncovered and analyzed, and our only hope of getting to the truth is through investigative journalism by professionals with unfettered and unfiltered access to the sources.”
A clearing house for journalist accounts of access denied has been established on the web at the following site: www.aftra.com/access4media.htm, and is also accepting similar accounts at www.aftra.com/access4media.htm. The site also offers tips on covering the story safely.
In a statement, the union said, “AFTRA will keep all of its members, including broadcast journalists, recording artists and television and radio performers and other performers, informed so that they can work with allies in the labor movement and the community to advocate for complete transparency from both the government and private corporations.”