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Toilet Water Hits the Big Time



I remain amazed at how far the story about Jasmine Roberts -- the Hillsborough 7th-grader who proved in a science fair experiment that toilet water was cleaner than tap water in many restaurants -- has spread.

Today the Columbia Journalism Review's CJR Daily website takes on CNN for covering her results instead of a science journal piece noting that Greenlands ice caps are melting at a faster rate that previously known.

The day before, she appeared on the Today show; a quick Google search indicates her story has appeared everywhere from Good Morning America to the Hindustan Times (see video from WTSP-Ch. 10 here)

It's testament to the power of a can't-miss concept, paired with a cute, articulate teen can go in today's media drenched news environment. As CJR noted, CNN even put its impressive news resources to work, collecting 23 samples to reproduce this 7th grader's science experiment on a national scale.

A sample of how cable and morning TV news shows are increasingly held to the same news standard as local TV outlets? For sure.

But its also an interesting example of the momentum of a persuasive idea. And that's a lesson worth learning in a world where knowledge brings increasing levels of power every day.

I expect to be working for young Jasmine before too long.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:35pm]


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