Workers in the "Vessels of Opportunity" Gulf spill cleanup program had to sign a contract prohibiting them from talking to the news media or disclosing "proprietary and confidential" information.
The original contracts were issued May 2, 2010. In a letter dated May 24 which went to some contract cleanup workers, BP rescinded the "Don't talk" clause — but some reportedly still feared for their jobs if they talked to media.
The story — including contract documents — was reported by "Powering a Nation," an online energy publication staffed mostly by students at the Univ. of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
- "BP Oil Spill Contract and Letter Cloud Media Access,"  Powering A Nation (News21), May 31, 2010, by Lauren Frohne and Jessey Dearing.
- "'Ignore Her': The BP Press Lockdown Continues,"  Mother Jones, June 1, 2010, by Mac McClelland.