As Central Arkansas news stations continue to report on an oil spill in Mayflower, just north of Little Rock, there are concerns ExxonMobil, which owns the burst Pegasus pipeline, is controlling the storyline.
Mother Jones reports on the difficulties some reporters are facing — including threats of arrest — while covering the spill. On March 29, a 20-inch buried pipeline burst in the town, releasing oil into local backyards and streets and, as one local station discovered, a nearby lake.
TVSpy checked in with several Little Rock stations to find out how they’re covering the story. We reached out to FOX and NBC affiliates KLRT and KARK, ABC affiliate KATV and CBS affiliate KTHV.
KATV news director Nick Genty says none of his reporters have been threatened with arrest, but says reporting the story has been a challenge. “Some of the issues that we have run into are that Exxon is running the show at the site. When we try to get information from local law enforcement, they direct us to the PR from Exxon.”
“We have found other ways to obtain video,” Genty says, “mostly from viewers that have sent in cell phone video from inside the neighborhood.” Read more