National Public Radio Covers the Gulf Oil Spill

As we move into month three of the Gulf oil spill, the Foundation continues to watch the continuing and intensive coverage of this serious crisis. The Foundation has been particularly attuned to National Public Radio’s environmental coverage over the past few months.

NPR has been on the story 24/7, with two reporters and one producer in the Gulf at all times, and additional reporters, editors, producers and digital media staff rotating into the Gulf or working from other locations. Its coverage comes out of NPR’s National desk, as well as from its science, economics and investigative units, and it has reported well over 300 stories on social, economic, political and environmental issues related to the spill, most on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, with 13 and 12 million weekly listeners respectively. In sum, they are bringing the full force of NPR’s broadcast and digital power to bring the American public this story.

NPR’s science correspondent Richard Harris was the first to cast serious doubts on BP’s characterization of how bad the spill was. Harris not only broke the news that the oil is leaking at rates ten times greater than official estimates, but his story has also made a difference in the tone and substance of the federal response, and has contributed to the establishment a government-appointed task force of scientists whose job is to come up with a more definitive figure of the amount of oil that has spilled. Here is Richard Harris with a recent update on the rate of the spill.

Yuki Noguchi, one of NPR’s business correspondents, brought home the complexity of the situation with this moving piece about the owners of a franchise gas station, who are paying the price for BP affiliation. And here’s more of Noguchi’s coverage of small businesses with a link to her story this morning on Morning Edition how business is melting away for Gulf Coast ice houses.

You can also take a look at this story by NPR’s veteran science correspondent Elizabeth Shogren on how the spill is affecting sea turtles in the Gulf. Or this in-depth discussion on Talk of the Nation on how to put a price on BP’s responsibility for reparations. There is so much exceptional coverage, and it can all be accessed on npr.org.

At NPR, they are reaching beyond its current dedicated resources to bring the public the depth and breadth of this story.