It’s official. No doubt from now we will see the edifying spectacle of the media industry eating itself: making news out of its own incompetence. My relatives abroad have been most concerned about my safety: I sent them 3 articles. None of them were from a mainstream source.

Some foreign media coverage of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has been so extreme it has fanned fears of a deadly radiation cloud descending on Tokyo and turning residents into walking zombies, before drifting across the oceans to menace the United States and Ireland. According to another “fact,” authorities have been warning those in a position to leave Tokyo to flee the city immediately, because another severe quake or an eruption at Mount Fuji could spark a meltdown at the “Shibuya Eggman nuclear reactor” – which in reality is a live house, or concert hall, in Tokyo [as reported here by Marketing Japan]. Laugh if you want, but a large number of domestic and overseas critics charge that such fear-mongering is responsible for causing the international panic over the Fukushima plant, and for persuading many foreign and Japanese residents of Tokyo to leave, either temporarily or permanently. Japan Times, Mar 21 Link: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110321f1.html

via Foreign media take flak for fanning fears.

The Japan Times article includes this quote from Leo Lewis of the London Times:

“It is a very fine balance. But if the price paid for having a vigilant media is occasional bursts of sensationalism, I’d probably take that over a more acquiescent press whose worst failure is the dereliction of its fourth estate duties,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »


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