Winners for the C-SPAN’s annual student documentary competition were just announced and, of the 2,355 films submitted, the $5,000 grand prize went to a group who hits pretty close to home. I’m not saying that because they picked fracking, a topic we often cover, as the most important issue Congress should consider. I’m saying it because one of the three high school freshmen in the winning group — Michaela Capps, Sarah Highducheck, and Emma Larson — is my sister.
Check out their video:
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It’s been a rough ride for Emma fending off the media (including an obligatory grilling by C-SPAN), but I still managed to score an exclusive scoop with little Larson. The 15-year-old twerp called me on her lunch break from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, Calif.:
Q. In your video you explore some disturbing facts associated with fracking — you’ve got quite the knack for investigation. But what are you going to do about the disturbing fact that dad snores so loudly?
A. Well, I found this little trick with my tongue where if I make this clicking noise, it’ll get him to stop for a few minutes.
Q. Wow, that really works? Amazing. How does it feel to realize that, as a 15-year-old, you’re more renowned as an environmental journalist than your older sister, who likes to think of herself as a professional?
A. Well, it’s pretty crazy.
Q. I’d say. But seriously, I want the scoop (watch and learn). What turned you on to fracking?
A. We pass the oil island every morning on the way to school — and one morning, a piece came on from NPR about fracking, and then I saw an article about it in my class where we were talking about current events, and then the Press Telegram [our local paper], did a piece on the fracking that happens in Long Beach. And I just started making all of these connections and I started reading about it, and the more you read about it the more you want to find out.
Q. Was there anything particularly surprising that you learned?
A. I think it’s crazy that fracking’s going on and so many people just don’t know about it. So many people even in Long Beach, where it’s happening right here. I think it’s crazy that pieces of news like that just don’t reach who they need to.
Q. Good stuff. We’re all so excited to see where you’ll go from here. But tell me, do you know anything pertaining to the whereabouts of my black cardigan that mysteriously disappeared the last time I was home?
A. It could possibly be in my closet.
Q. I suspected as much. I hear the three of you are planning to save the prize money to go on a post-graduation trip to Greece. I’ll be awaiting an invitation.