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This Just In: March 12 - 19 

Bottled Up Energy

Summary: A "Conveniently Green" feature about some prodigious teens peddling water. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Kelly Frey When it Aired: March 7 Running Time: 1 minute, 47 seconds Visuals: * Inside a meeting room at Oxford Center, Downtown. * A see-through refrigerator case full of GIVE water. Highlights: * When Ben Lewis, a graduate of Shady Side Academy, takes us back to a previous story aired by WTAE: "Last July, whenever we talked, we didn't have much of a plan, we just had a great idea for a product, a little bit of a vision … [and] the rest is just kinda history." * When Frey bubbles, "It's been a busy six months since we first met PURBLU company creator Ben Lewis and his team of teenage CEOs." * When Lewis relays one of the hardships of starting your own company: "For six months, we were making deliveries out of our cars." * When Frey says, "All that's changed. Word of this new water has spread fast. Several newspapers and magazines have written articles touting GIVE water's message: Cultivate change, one drop at a time. Ten cents from every bottle you buy is given to charity. Buy the blue bottle, give life for needy children; pink, give hope for women suffering from breast cancer; green, give love for the environment." * When Frey adds, "Ben says they knew they had something good with GIVE, they just didn't know how good. In only six months, Pittsburghers purchased more than 20,000 bottles. That's more than $2,000 donated to the United Way in Allegheny County for children in need, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Pittsburgh Chapter, and RiverQuest for environmental education." * When Lewis explains, "I felt very strongly that the money we raise stay in Pittsburgh based on the fact that we're a local company, and the community's really embraced it." * When Frey adds, "Including Whole Foods, which has now decided to sell GIVE in all of its mid-Atlantic stores. The company will make donations in those states." * When Lewis bloviates, "GIVE is a movement. It's not just bottled water, and people are recognizing that. And as we expand, you know, 2008 could be a great year for us and we could end up making much, much more substantial donations." * When Frey ends with this Prozac-inspired statement: "Water with a conscience: how refreshing." What We Learned: Water, water, everywhere -- but not a drop to think. Unanswered Question: Is this really a "green" story -- or a business report? News Value: 3. I find a feature babbling on about ANOTHER bottled water company decidedly inconvenient. You know what I'm going to say, right? If you want to give, don't buy bottled water at all. Donate the money you save by drinking tap water to your favorite charity. Our insatiable thirst for bottled water helps us waste about 1.5 BILLION barrels of oil that are used to make water bottles. That's not even counting the fuel wasted to transport those bottles. And 90 percent of those bottles are never recycled. Of course, just as I write this, the AP comes out with findings that traces of pharmaceuticals are found in our drinking water. Great!

How to "Recession-Proof" Your Life

Summary: Speaking of economy measures -- Channel 11 is here to help. Station: WPXI Channel 11 Reporter: Stacia Erdos When it Aired: March 5 Running Time: 2 minutes, 11 seconds Visuals: * A picturesque shot of a home in a snow shower. * An economics professor in what looks like a computer lab. * Pittsburghers traversing slushy sidewalks and roads Dahntahn. Highlights: * When a woman-on-the-street admits, "I'm concerned overall with the economy." * When Erdos begins, "With many economists predicting a worsening economic storm, [this Duquesne University investment-management professor] says there are precautions you can take to batten down the hatches. He says your number-one recession-survival strategy should be securing your job." * When he advises, "Work those extra hours, take that overtime if it's available, if there's a big project going on in your group, volunteer to be a part of that, and raise your worth to your employer." * When Erdos suggests, "If you do get some extra money from a tax refund or that government rebate, think about paying down some of those credit cards with some of it." * When she reveals tip No. 5: "Set up an emergency or rainy-day fund with a couple of months' worth of living expenses." * When Erdos concludes, "And finally, be patient. And take a lesson from history." * When the professor assures us, "Recessions don't last forever." * When an older man-on-the-street says, quite calmly, "We've gone through them before, we've weathered them, and we've come back." What We Learned: It all looks good on paper. Or when a TV news reporter is outlining it for you. Unanswered Question: With all this snow, can somebody do a story on how to waterproof my life? News Value: 4. Good advice, for sure, but there's no such thing as "recession-proofing." If only it were as easy as taking these five steps.

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