A Tale of Oil, Corruption and Death

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Please give your attention to an investigative piece New York Times reporter/video journalist Brent McDonald produced and reported (with Deborah Sontag). The 17(ish)-minute documentary piece accompanies an in-depth story, currently on the home page of nytimes.com. The piece tells the story of the chairman of the tribes on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, who has profited from the oil boom that has taken North Dakota by storm. But the chairman had some business dealings that led to charges of corruption, and the murder of two men.

Brent reported and shot the story over several months. With a deadline moved up, Brent had only a week or so to make a film from the many hours of footage he had gathered. To help him meet the deadline, I spent a few days with Brent to help move the editing process along. I’m pleased to see how the documentary came out. It’s solid reporting, told well.


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