INSTITUTE INDEX: De facto censorship of disaster

Date on which the U.S. Coast Guard established a "safety zone" around oil cleanup operations and booms in the Gulf: 6/30/2010

Size of the safety zone the Coast Guard originally considered: 300 feet

Size of the safety zone it ultimately established: 65 feet

Distance booms are typically placed from islands or marsh grasses: 40 feet

Fine imposed for violating the safety-zone rule, which carries felony charges: $40,000

Date on which the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center put out a release saying it would allow media access to the safety zones on a "case-by-case" basis: 7/3/2010

Date on which a BP contractor and Alabama state trooper told Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen that he could not visit the oil-affected Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge with a camera: 7/6/2010

Distance below which the Federal Aviation Administration has banned flyovers of the Gulf oil disaster: 3,000 feet

Date on which a freelance photographer working for ProPublica was followed by a BP security guard and detained by police after shooting images from a public highway of BP's Texas City refinery, where a 2005 explosion killed 15 and injured 170: 7/2/2010

Estimated length of time the photographer, Lance Rosenfield, was detained: 20 to 30 minutes

Number of charges filed against Rosenfield: 0

Length of time that two PBS reporters spent trying to get permission to visit a federal medical facility set up to treat oil spill responders only to be denied access: over 2 weeks

Date on which former Vice President Al Gore said the oil spill command's frequent refusal to grant reporters access amounted to a "de facto form of censorship": 6/14/2010

Date on which the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced an initiative to monitor reports of denial of access to reporters covering the BP oil disaster: 7/1/2010

(Click on figure to go to the source.)