About


Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota is produced by Todd Melby and brought to you by Prairie Public, Zeega, and  AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated.

Since 2012, we’ve covered the ups and downs of the Bakken boom:
60+ radio stories for Prairie Public, including many for Marketplace and other NPR shows such as Latino USA, All Things Considered and The Story;
• 2 interactive documentaries: Rough Ride: The Oil Patch Tour (2013) and Oil To Die For (2015);
• 1 television documentary: Black Gold Boom (2015), airing on PBS stations in 2015-16.

Black Gold Boom has been honored with these awards: 2012 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award for “Specialized Journalism Site,” a 2013 Online News Association award and a 2013 Radio Television Digital News Association regional Edward R. Murrow award for top news series. In addition, the interactive documentary Rough Ride: The Oil Patch Tour has been featured at the Centre National de l’Audiovisuel’s Something Real exhibit in Luxembourg. It was also featured at Smart FIP@, an interactive documentary competition at Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels in Biarritz, France.

Todd Melby is a reporter, interactive producer and filmmaker. In addition to serving as lead producer of Black Gold Boom, he is also a senior producer at 2 below zero, a public media nonprofit and has won multiple national journalism awards, including a pair of Edward R. Murrows and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

Philipp Batta is a documentary photography and filmmaker. He served as cinematographer on Black Gold Boom, a PBS television documentary, and shot several videos in the interactive documentary Rough Ride: The Oil Patch Tour, including the infamous Dippin’ and Trippin’.

Josh Banville edited Black Gold Boom, a PBS television documentary, and shot and edited the video segments on Oil To Die For, an interactive documentary.

Lindsey Wagner served as interactive designed on Oil To Die For, an interactive documentary. She also worked on the design of Rough Ride: The Oil Patch Tour, a 2013 interactive documentary.

Mathew Holding Eagle III served as an associate producer on Black Gold Boom, a PBS television documentary, and was selected as a New Voices Scholar at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in 2014. He is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribe in North Dakota.

Elizabeth Day served as an associate producer on Black Gold Boom, a PBS television documentary. She’s also filmmaker who was born on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis.

Ben Garvin shot and edited several online videos for Black Gold Boom in 2012. He is a photojournalist at KARE 11-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was named 2010 Journalist of the Year by the Minnesota Society professional journalists and 2007 Minnesota Photographer of the Year by the Minnesota Press Photographers Association. He also produced this crazy popular YouTube video.

Diane Richard reported several radio stories for Black Gold Boom in 2012. She is a reporter and senior producer at 2 below zero, a public media nonprofit. She has won a pair of Edward R. Murrow awards, a Sigma Delta Chi award and a PRNDI award for radio documentaries produced with Todd Melby.

Laura Candler reported several radio stories for Black Gold Boom in 2012. She also edited and shot most of Boom or Bust, a music video about good and bad times in oil country. She’s also a photographer.

Prairie Public is a public radio and television network serving the people of North Dakota.

Black Gold Boom is part of AIR’s national Localore initiative, designed to bring journalistic and technical ingenuity to extending public media service to more Americans. Sue Schardt is AIR’s executive director, and the executive producer of Localore. Noland Walker is Localore’s executive editor. Learn more about all 10 Localore projects at localore.net. AIR is a creative brain trust made up of more than 900 media makers from across the U.S. and 20 countries worldwide who are re-imagining and reinventing public media and journalism for the 21st century. Its programs are designed to identify, cultivate, and deploy gifted talent for the benefit of citizens across the U.S.