It’s terrible to say, but since April our paper has been consumed with all things oil and I’m tired of it.
At first it was kind of exciting, I went to the beach, touched the tar balls (I realize this is a no-no, but c’mon you would want to do it too) and even brought some back to the newsroom for show and tell. My desk was very popular that day.
Now, months later, I’m done. Tired. Over it.
We get more calls on oil than anything else. What was BP’s insurance? I know how to stop the leak. I worked on the site, but no I won’t give my name or proof I was there?
Then there are all the false reports. Oh no, it’s an oil slick! Nope, it’s just a mixture of coastal lake water and ocean water. Oh no, it’s more oil. Nope again, it’s just the ocean, which is sometimes a dark brown color.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s bad and the news part of it has been great for the paper. A typical month gives us about 5 million page views, last month we had 8 million – that, ladies and gentlemen, is a lot of people looking at nwfdailynews.com.
I went on a ride-along a week ago to see what the beach patrol officers do everyday to check out the oil situation. Let me tell you something, it’s incredibly dull.
I was in the back of the officer’s patrol truck while the Health Department worker and he poked their heads out the windows and stared at the beach sand going about two miles an hour. It took every ounce of self-control, will power and pure desire for me not to fall asleep. I figured it would be a little unprofessional.
I hate the oil, don’t get me wrong. It’s depressing hearing people say our gulf will never be the same and that the water, the air and the sand could all be dangerous.
I love the beach. I’m a Florida girl born and raised and would never want to see the beaches destroyed.
But enough oil talk, already.
There was a day that our entire front cover was oil. EVERY STORY WAS ON THE SAME TOPIC.
Thankfully, I wasn’t given the complete oil beat, but it’s something everyone has to cover because it is now our existence, it’s what we’re living with on a daily basis.
I remember back in April, the first week of oil coverage, that I was really ready for the oil stuff to be over. If only I’d have known that in July it would still be something that plagued our budget and probably will for a long, long time.