In our ongoing effort to highlight issues of importance to our members, AFTRA launched a new Access4Media website and blog on August 2.
We encourage any journalist who has been denied access by a corporate or government entity in the course of covering the Gulf oil spill to tell us their story by filling in the confidential form or contacting us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access4Media is the first in a series of initiatives by the AFTRA Campaign for Quality Journalism. AFTRA believes that quality journalism is at the heart of every democratic society. Quality journalism thrives when journalists have unfettered access to the people, places, and documents they need to investigate and expose the truth; when they have a voice in maintaining editorial and professional standards; and when they are safe to investigate the truth, wherever they may be.
As a union that includes broadcast journalists, AFTRA has long been committed to the fight for quality journalism. We hope the new website and blog will provide useful information as well as contribute to wider discussions about the vital role of journalism in our democracy. Please join the discussion at http://www.access4media.org/.
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig in April 2010 killed eleven workers, and led to the biggest oil spill and one of the worst environmental catastrophes in United States history. The spill and its effects on the economy, the environment, and the people of the Gulf region will be an important story for months, if not years, to come. Journalists must have unfettered and unfiltered access to sources, places, and people in order to tell that story. But we continue to hear reports that journalists are being denied access by BP and its security contractors, local law enforcement, and the U.S. military.
Access4Media is an initiative of the AFTRA Campaign for Quality Journalism whose aim is to highlight the serious problems journalists continue to face as they cover the oil spill and its aftermath in the Gulf region. AFTRA will continue to monitor reports of limited or denied access, and keep all of our members—including broadcast journalists, actors, recording artists, and other performers—informed so that they can work with allies in the labor movement and the community to advocate for complete transparency from both the government and private corporations.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In thirty-two local unions across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers in media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the twenty-first century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society.
Visit AFTRA online at http://www.aftra.com/.