If the idea of flammable groundwater doesn’t exactly make you want to bust a move on the dance floor, nobody will blame you – but “Fracking – The Music Video” might make you change your mind.
The students of New York University’s Studio 20, a journalism course that focuses on blending reporting with new media, collaborated with the investigative unit ProPublica to create a new kind of explainer to introduce the public to ProPublica’s three-year investigation on hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – and the potential dangers it poses to communities’ drinking water supply. Need to Know has collaborated with ProPublica in the past in a report on fracking’s impact on groundwater. The result of Studio 20’s work is “My Water’s on Fire Tonight (The Fracking Song)” – a song that packs a surprising amount of information in just over two and a half minutes through rap and a funk-laden chorus.
Studio 20 emphasizes that the video is not meant to be a substitute for ProPublica’s years of in-depth investigations. “While we hope that you enjoy the song,” they write at Explainer.net, “what we really want you to do is read more about hydraulic fractured drilling, so you can truly understand ‘what the frack is going on.’”