In February, after we published our first stories on the Eagle Ford, we began trying to answer that question by seeking on-the-record interviews with EPA officials in Washington, D.C., and Texas. Five months later, no such interviews have been granted.

Instead, EPA press officers have told us to put our questions in writing, an increasingly common response from federal agencies under the Obama administration. The process usually goes like this: A journalist calls the press office to schedule an interview but instead is told to submit written questions. Once these are in, a press officer gets answers from scientists or other officials and then crafts a written response. In most cases, nobody involved in the process—not even the EPA press officers—will agree to be quoted by name.

Runaround: Three Months of Correspondence With the EPA

The world going by at 170 mph.


Ben Dreyfuss, engagement editor for Mother Jones, said that the progressive magazine’s stance allows it to hit on topics in ways that make people want to share its content.

"I think that one of the benefits of being a magazine with a voice and doing politics is that people, particularly on Facebook, like to share things that tell the world who they are,” he said. “They might not live in Montana when Montana legalizes gay marriage, but they are a person that wants to the world to know they like gay marriage.” … “Traffic from a lot of other places is so flat for a lot of people that I think it’s giving Facebook more and more power,” Dreyfuss said.

Seeing More Politics in Your News Feed? Facebook Boosts Partisan Sites via Mashable