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Murrow Awards, Best Documentary, "Oil and Water, Ten Years Later" Alabama Public Radio

Credit Pixabay
The effort to contain the 2010 BP oil spill

Please find enclosed Alabama Public Radio’s entry for the Edward R. Murrow Award for best documentary, titled “Oil and Water, Ten Years Later.”

Click here to listen to the program.

The 2010 disaster cost coastal businesses $700 million dollars and 3,000 jobs. Ten years later, the region is still recovering and some speculate some of the scars may never heal. The Alabama Public Radio news team spent four months, investigating the aftereffects of the spill by revisiting the people APR interviewed ten years ago as the event unfolded.

Two of the contributing reporters in this series are part of an innovative program Alabama Public Radio developed to address the “news desert” conditions along the Gulf coast following the spill, and the demise of the Mobile Press Register newspaper. APR recruited print journalists and trained them to produce radio stories for the underserved news audience along the coast.

APR’s Lynn Oldshue is part of that initative. She reports on Gulf coast residents still suffering from medical issues associated with chemical dispersants used to control the crude oil leaked during the spill. One victim reports ongoing rashes and breathing problems she blames on the chemicals.

I report on the ongoing mental health impacts of the spill, and the continuing issues the fishing industry is facing ten years after the disaster. We met shrimp packer Dominic Ficarino in 2010, shortly after a grocery store chain refused to buy his product marked “caught in Alabama waters.” After much negotiation, that chain resumed doing business with Ficarino last year, nine years after the spill.

And APR Gulf coast correspondent Guy Busby, tells the story of home Gulf coast businesses currently hit by losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic are having “flashbacks” to similar hardships they endured during the 2010 oil spill.

Respectfully submitted,

Pat Duggins, News Director

Alabama Public Radio