Thursday, March 24, 2011

First hand report from Japan, media sensationalism

I received this email from an American friend of mine living in Japan. It is published here with his permission.


From an article in The Japan Times about sensationalized overseas media reports in the past 2 weeks:

"For example, Japanese and foreigners who know a little about the country reacted in shocked disbelief when America's FOX News displayed a map of Japanese nuclear power stations that included the Shibuya Eggman plant in the Tokyo region. It remains a mystery as to how this ended up on a news program watched daily by around 1.8 million people."

Shibuya Eggman is the name of a live music club, not a nuclear plant. There are no nuclear plants in Tokyo.

Not that we're exactly in a comfortable situation here, of course, but some of the media have been pretty irresponsible. I saw headlines on CNN like, "Nuclear Fears Soar as Death Toll Rises"... suggesting a link between the two which does not exist. On another site I clicked on what was supposed to be an educational piece about the nuclear situation and at the top of the page was a photo of dead bodies being carried off. These were of course tsunami victims and the photo had nothing to do with the nuclear plant.

Foreigners have been leaving the country in droves. I am still here, by the way. It's been one of the tougher experiences in my life but we are far luckier than many. There are cracks in my walls but no cracks in my family; we're strong and unified as ever. Anyway, Japan is my home.

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