In the last week, 10 news organizations have gotten on board for our BP spill claims project: AL.com, the Biloxi Sun Herald, The Florida Independent, GulfLive.com, MSNBC.com, New Orleans Metblogs, The Texas Independent, The Texas Tribune, Time Magazine and The Washington Independent.
These publications join others that have signed on since we launched almost two weeks ago, including American Public Media's Public Insight Network, The Bradenton Herald, Huffington Post Green, NOLA.com, The Gambit Weekly, The Lens, The Miami Herald, St. Petersburg Times, Tallahassee Democrat, and Yahoo! News.
The goal of our BP claims project is simple: We aim to hear from as many people who have filed damage claims with BP as possible. We've found that starting the reporting process at ground level gives us insight that high-level administrators don't have. When the matter concerns 140,000 claims, no newsroom -- no matter how influential or widely read -- has sufficient reach. Our partners are asking readers who've filed claims to share stories with us -- and for that, we're very appreciative. You can help us, too, by posting our call-out for stories to Twitter or Facebook, or on your blog.
Hearing directly from claimants has already paid off. Last week, after hearing from applicants about how their claims were being placed in limbo by BP, we published "BP Confirms That Thousands of Claims Decisions Will Be Deferred." In the story, the company confirmed our finding that many claims were being put on hold, and provided additional information about which types of claims were being considered and which were being left waiting.