Category Archives: nuclear

"Journalist Wall of Shame "

This is a website dedicated to the less than helpful or edifying journalism its creator has seen since the Japan eathquake of last Friday.

I’ll let the site’s creator speak for him/her self:

Why Bad Journalism Has Driven Me To Desperate Ends

In retrospect, I should have had this idea before, but I guess today I just hit critical mass (not sure if it’s appropriate to use a nuclear energy turn of phrase here): one too many pieces of bad journalism.
So I decided to start a wiki Bad Journalism Wall of Shame and invite some of the other people who were frustrated with some of the shoddy, alarmist, and shocking wrong journalism we’ve seen since last Friday’s Tohoku quake.
I take everything I read with a grain of salt these days, and have for many years.  When I read an article or see a television report that makes sensational claims, I try to fact check on my own, because I no longer trust most journalists to have done it for me.  
One glance at the list of newspapers included on the site shows that the British press does not escape criticism!
There are examples of articles covering the Japanese eathquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear emergency, and reasons why the contributors find them particularly reprehensible.
Rosie Robertson 

Proof that Journalism Not a ‘Feather-bedded’ Profession?

An image sent from Japan, by Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News, showing journalists taking a well-earned rest from their coverage of the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear problems.

Last night, this tweet appeared : 

okorih arumakan
I want to thank @ crews for delivering water to the evacuators instead of just going for the report. Amazing team.
It is sometimes all too easy to criticise the media and to forget that in order for us, the public, to be given a true portrayal of events and issues, the news gatherers, not least recently, find themselves in precarious positions. 
We have seen remarkable scenes, accompanied by careful and thoughtful words, delivered to our computers, TVs and in the press, from the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. This is true for most of those sending back film and written reports from Japan.
Channel 4 News are not alone in the excellence of their work. The BBC News output, together with the majority of that of Sky News has at times brought unique angles and surprising points of view to us here in Britain from places beleaguered by natural disasters or the violence of tyrants meted out to citizens embroiled in their struggle for democracy.
One has only to glance at the front pages of the press, however, and to read some of the articles offered to their readers, to glean that the journalism and coverage of such momentous events is not always of such commendable quality. For example:
Cheltenham? – or Japan?

Serious, in – depth journalism?

Rosie Robertson


No Panic, Daily Mail.

Since last Friday, 11th March 2011, the majority of the world ‘s media have rightly focused their attention on the terrible plight of hundreds of thousands of Japanese people. 

Visited at 2.46 p.m. by a very powerful earthquake, magnitude 9.0, the Eastern seaboard of Japan was then almost obliterated by a tsunami which destroyed many towns and villages along the coast, killing an, as yet, indeterminate number of people. 

Representatives of the media descended on the areas affected. From the UK, most of the well-known 24 hour news stations’ anchor men and women as well as countless journalists from the press are there, relaying moving stories , painting vivid pictures of the scenes they are witnessing and enabling readers, listeners and viewers alike to see for themselves the extent of this disaster.

Most of the reporters, thankfully, are producing high-quality, truthful and effective columns and pieces to camera . We are able, through the thoughtful, intelligent and honest accounts from journalists like Channel 4’s Jon Snow and Alex Thompson, to see and hear for ourselves the dignity and sheer tenacity of fellow human beings trying to cope with extreme danger and its aftermath. These journalists are often in dangerous situations themselves.

Now added to earthquake and tsunami, we are watching a nuclear power plant seemingly rapidly running out of control and which may affect the health of many of those lucky enough to survive the earlier events.

Most News outlets have been reporting, and we have been able to see for ourselves, how marvellously stoic and forbearing the Japanese people have been and continue to be. Reporters constantly refer in admiration to the way these people are kind to those in need, thoughtful to strangers and work together to make the best of what most of us would find only in our worst nightmares.

As Channel 4 News’ Alex Thomson says in his blog:

 Over here there is no chaos. No mayhem. There is a nuclear power station with some heating issues. There is a forest fire, a blizzard tonight and coastal obliteration on an unimaginable scale.

But this is Japan. They do not panic. They do not do mayhem. They don’t litter and they don’t loot.

Further examples of the sheer forbearance of the Japanese people can be found here in this video sent by George Alagiah from BBC News: here

Most of the media have been restrained and accurate in their reporting of events in Japan. Some have not. The Daily Mail today, tells us in banner headline on the front page that Japan’s people are ‘in the grip of nuclear panic‘ and includes the word ‘apocalypse‘ in the same headline. 

The purpose of this hyperbole is no doubt to ratchet up the drama of the piece and sell more copies, but what it does do, in actual fact, is a disservice to many thousands of human beings behaving in a way many of the rest of us doubt we would be able to emulate.

How much more effective and honest, then, is this style of front page and headline –

No unwarranted exaggeration, no hype and more importantly, no lack of respect for the victims of this tragedy.

Rosie Robertson