About


Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota is produced by independent producer Todd Melby and brought to you by Prairie Public, Zeega, and  AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated. Black Gold Boom is part of Localore, a national initiative produced by AIR, in collaboration with Zeega, with financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and The Spence Law Firm.

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.

Todd Melby is lead producer of Black Gold Boom. He’s also a reporter. His stories have aired on U.S. public radio stations, including national shows such as Marketplace and The Story. He’s also covered breaking news stories, including the I-35W bridge collapse, for Reuters. He is a senior producer at 2 below zero, a public media nonprofit. And he’s won a pair of Edward R. Murrow awards, a Sigma Delta Chi award and a PRNDI award for radio documentaries produced with Diane Richard. Melby is also a recipient of a 2013 McKnight Media Maker Fellowship, administered by IFP-Minnesota and funded by the McKnight Foundation. In 2013-14, he’s directing the Black Gold Boom television documentary.

Zeega’s mission is to remake the Internet. We are dedicated to revolutionizing web publishing and interactive storytelling for a future beyond blogs. Our HTML5 platform empowers anyone to experiment with the web as a creative medium. An expanding team of journalists, artists and creative technologists, we are passionate about beautiful, surprising, immersive digital experiences that foster curiosity and enrich understanding of the world around us. Black Gold Boom is part of Zeega’s ongoing productions series, a growing collection of innovative storytelling projects that creatively use the Zeega platform to uncover new perspectives on the human experience.

Ben Garvin is a staff photojournalist for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minnesota. Was 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.

Philipp Batta is a documentary photography and filmmaker. He works with sociologists, historians, non-profit organizations and international brands to tell character driven stories about culture, society, and personal journeys. In 2013-14, he’s serving as cinematographer on the Black Gold Boom television documentary.

Diane Richard is a reporter and radio producer. She is a 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 is a multimedia producer and 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.