Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Facebook vs TV

Facebook won today. I actually spent the day editing the AFWJ Journal. By all accounts the foreign news was full of sensational coverage of the nuclear power station, reporting explosions and evacuations, and listing all the side-effects of radiation. I haven't watched TV at all, except for Anderson Cooper, who I like. He's the only one who tries to do overviews, or get to the bottom of things, rather than just chase after the latest 'breaking news'.

TV media is dominated by this race to be the first to get the latest 'breaking news', it's nauseating, you can sense them almost WANTING Japan to be laid waste by an enormous nuclear explosion, just so they can say they reported it first. With Japan stubbornly refusing to be wiped off the map today, they had to settle for reporting on the mass exodus, which, despite my worried post yesterday, isn't happening. MOST of us are staying!

One thing that bothers me about this 'waiting for doom' and exaggeration is that it diminishes both the disaster that preceded it, and the importance of the event that HAS happened at the nuclear power station - that it failed in an earthquake and hurt staff and people living near-by. This is bad - this shouldn't be, isn't supposed to be, happening. Surely reporting on this event that DID happen is more important than endless speculation about what COULD?

But more important to me is how the people in the tsunami-affected areas are coping. The kids asked me last night, "Where are they going to go? They can't live in community centres forever." Where WILL they go? I don't know, but to me, this is the most pressing issue. You will find a lot more about this issue and the ongoing rescue/recovery at Japan's national TV Channel's English site.

On facebook people were sharing numerous fund-raising, donation and support initiatives. I get almost instant reports of after-shocks from people right there, then I can check the stats myself on the JMA site. People have been passing around websites all day. This article makes the point that by concentrating so much on the nukes, the real need - those half million homeless people in the snow - are being dangerously overlooked.

This is a great explanation of how a nuclear power station works:

And this one is a hilarious example of how much they are getting wrong out there: apparently there is a nuclear power station in a nightclub in Roppongi! Thanks Katy for that one, my best laugh of the day!



1 comment:

kuri, ping & the pinglet said...

Rachel, some cities/prefectures (Kitakyushu and Fukuoka among them), are opening up a number of city and prefectural housing for people who want to relocate to Kyushu. Not the best solution for those who just want their homes back, but maybe better than temporary housing that they'll probably put up a la Kobe.