Journalists denied access to BP oil spill

The New York Times reports that journalists have been denied access to the BP oil spill despite ongoing efforts to gain access to both the sky and ground in areas affected by the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The New York Times

“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.”

Stories the NYT discovered include a pilot that was denied the right to take a photographer over the spill, Florida Senator Bill Nelson blocked last-minute from bringing a group of journalists on a Coast Guard ship, and a Daily News reporter that was told he had to be escorted by a BP official if he wanted access to a public beach that was one of the areas most heavily affected by the spill. The stories continue to pour in.

The pilot told the NYT:

“We were questioned extensively. Who was on the aircraft? Who did they work for?” recalled Rhonda Panepinto, who owns Southern Seaplane with her husband, Lyle. “The minute we mentioned media, the answer was: ‘Not allowed.’ ”

Scientists have also complained about the lack of information coming from BP and the government.