Inside Public Integrity

Published — March 21, 2013 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Praise from MIT for Center and PBS collaboration on post-Erin Brockovich Hinkley, Calif.


Knight Science Journalism at MIT’s Tracker blog writes about The Center for Public Integrity’s latest collaboration with PBS’ NewsHour in our Toxic Clout series.

The story investigated the lack of regulation of the toxic chemical compound chromium (VI) found in the drinking water for Hinkley, Calif., almost 20 years after a class-action lawsuit. The suit was made famous in the Hollywood movie Erin Brockovich.

Regulators have been slow to act on the problem of chromium (VI) in Hinkley and elsewhere in the country because chemical industry scientists have cast doubt on whether or not the chemical is toxic.

The Center’s David Heath and Ronnie Greene partnered with NewsHour science reporter Miles O’Brien to tell this story and others in our Toxic Clout series.

KSJ Tracker praises this collaboration as a way to tell this story that may not have otherwise been told. The blog’s author, Deborah Blum, writes:

“In a media world in which these kinds of collaborations increasingly support in-depth reporting, this is an outstanding example of such work – thoroughly reported, beautifully told, and revealing. … It may never be the subject of a movie starring Julia Roberts. But it’s a strong reminder that this is not just a story about the lives of people in a little desert community but it’s the story of our own lives as well.”

Read more in Inside Public Integrity

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