by Max Brantley
We've mentioned Chesapeake Energy's mockumentary, which is blanketing the Arkansas airways with a paid pro-drilling message dressed up to look like a news magazine. Its mouthpiece is former Channel 11 news anchor Anne Jansen. We've mentioned similar efforts underway in Texas, where citizens somewhat more accustomed to gas and oil exploration have been a touch less docile about potential environmental impact, particularly since Chesapeake wants to drill under suburban homes in Fort Worth.
But, the Wall Street Journal reports, Chesapeake is taking mock news to a new level in Texas.
Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of the nation's largest producers of natural gas, faces growing opposition as its drilling rigs sprout in populated areas, including residential subdivisions and on college campuses. To reverse that tide, the company is taking an unusual tack.
This fall, it will launch Shale.TV, a Web site devoted exclusively to creating new content about the massive natural-gas field known as the Barnett Shale, located in and around Fort Worth, Texas, and one of Chesapeake's most important assets. Chesapeake has signed up well-known local journalists, including a longtime local television anchor, to run the site and produce three hours of new programming every day.