Arkansas Times is partnering with recent Pulitzer Prize-winning news site InsideClimate News on a crowdfunded reporting project that will investigate the March 29 ExxonMobil oil spill in Mayflower, Ark. Editor Linsdey Millar explains:
This is a tremendously important story â€” and it’s been significantly under-reported. Why? Small outlets like the Times can’t afford to devote a staffer to the story full time. It’s also extremely complicated, so even the larger organizations that are covering it regularly struggle to delve deeply enough. We’re excited to be teaming with InsideClimate News because it’s one of the few outlets that’s really been doing yeoman’s work on the spill, though largely from thousands of miles away … They have the institutional knowledge necessary to close the knowledge gap that ExxonMobil enjoys with most other journalists (not to mention state and local officials).
Together the organizations are trying to raise $26,535 through ioby.org to pay for two journalists to “spend several months aggressively reporting all aspects of the story.” The team will file regular dispatches, publish longer features, and will collaborate on photo and video projects.
“It’s a disaster in danger of being forgotten or ignored, even though it has irrevocably changed the lives of many people,” says the fundraising appeal. “This spill, like previous spills, should be part of the national debate about the future of energy and the impacts of carbon pollution.”