Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 05/12/2011

What the frack is going on? Singing as journalism.


(Screengrab from “My Water’s on Fire Tonight”)
It’s the most common journalist groan: They want us to do everything these days. They being the overlords at the paper. Everything being tweeting, blogging, showing up on television.

Remember the glory days when journalists just got to sit back, investigate and write? Well, no more. To make matters worse, ProPublica just upped the ante. A new video produced with New York University’s Studio 20, shows that in the juggling act that is journalism a new skill is needed: we all should learn how to sing.

ProPublica, the investigative journalism group that won a 2011 Pulitzer for National Reporting, is trying to capture the YouTube attention span with an upbeat rap on fracking. Yes, fracking, the controversial process of recovering natural gas underground by sending drilling water pipes deep into the earth to fracture rock.

And, dang it, if the song isn’t fabulous.

“My Water’s on Fire Tonight (The Fracking Song)” echoes the absurd style of the Flight of the Conchords, managing to squeeze words like benzene and formaldehyde into the lyrics, and has a fantastic chorus: “What the frack is going on with all this fracking going on/I think we need some facts to come to light/I know we want our energy but nothing ever comes for free/I think my water’s on fire tonight.”

Plus, it’s paired with an engaging animated video (see below). It’s produced by David Holmes at New York University’s Studio 20, to create an “explainer” to ProPublica’s deep investigation into fracking, “Buried Secrets.”

“It’s impossible to sum up a massive, immersive experience like ‘Buried Secrets’ in a two-and-a-half minute song,” a post reads on the NYU Studio 20 blog. “Instead, the intent is to bring people in, to create an easily digestible package that compels news consumers to dig into the real meat of the story.”

It’s a great way to start off the story:

By  |  12:05 PM ET, 05/12/2011

Tags:  Daily Catch

 
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