Sunday, March 20, 2011

Typical Reporting in Japan: Cite Foreign News Source to Criticize

A Kyodo News Japanese article (3/20/2011) cites a Wall Street Journal article (3/19/2011) which is critical of the response by the Japanese government and TEPCO in the on-going crisis (though seemingly stabilized) at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

So typical. The Japanese media cannot, or would not, write anything openly critical of the government. They take a small jab at the government, but open criticism is left for bloggers and personal comments from experts (which they do report). When they do criticize, as the news organization, they often cite the foreign media.

It's been done this way in Japan for long time. No need to change that, even in this crisis. Not just the government which has fallen back to its familiar style (i.e. carrying out bureaucratic rules and regulations no matter what), but the media has fallen back to their familiar style of reporting - use the foreign media to criticize the government, while hyping the good news.

AERA, a weekly magazine by Asahi Shinbun, had to apologize profusely for putting the face of a man with full protective gear against radiation on the magazine cover, with the caption "Radiation is coming." The magazine was accused of "fear mongering".

Speaking of "fear mongering", it seems wind is blowing in all directions, some from the ocean toward the land. Good luck people, trusting the official figures and utterance.

Alas, the trust runs deep.


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