Keystone Pipeline: When Industry Ads and Industry-Friendly Coverage Collide

This is the sort of awkward juxtaposition that newspapers usually try to avoid. In today’s Washington Post (7/9/12), a story about the Keystone pipeline appears above a Chevron ad: Awkward. Then again, maybe not. Juliet Eilperin‘s article is all about what supporters of the pipeline project in the state of Montana are saying. Politicians, academics and labor leaders are all behind the project. One critic–a farmer–is heard from (“Not everyone in Montana has embraced the pipeline…”), but she says she’d support the pipeline if it was exclusively for the benefit of a local oil field. Is Keystone really the kind […]


Downsized Reporters Turn to ‘Deceptive’ PR

Writing for CJR.org (6/16/09), Media Bloodhound blogger Brad Jacobson finds that “former CNN correspondent-turned-PR consultant Gene Randall’s video ‘report‘ for oil giant Chevron might be unprecedented for how it blurred the line between public relations and journalism,” but is still more worried that “the Randall/Chevron production raises not only ethical questions, but also the question of whether a surge of newly pink-slipped reporters might go, as one media critic put it, ‘over to the dark side,’ and how that might further muddy the line between news and corporate advocacy”: As detailed in a recent New York Times article, when Chevron, […]


From Africa to the Amazon — Big Oil Gets a Pass

Veteran actor and activist Peter Coyote (SFChronicle.com, 5/30/09) writes about big media’s overriding response to the “Largest Environmental Lawsuit in History–Silence.” Taking a look at “the practices that are going on behind Chevron’s carefully cultivated ‘green’ image” as they “drill for oil in the jungles of the Ecuadorian Amazon,” Coyote does give credit to the Washington Post reporting of “several damning letters” like “an internal 1972 memo…instructing Texaco [now Chevron] officials in Ecuador to report only spills that attracted the attention of the news media.” Nonetheless: This is a case of epic proportions, where our commons, the lungs of the […]