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What would you say are the main differences between the way the Japanese and foreign media are covering the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the ongoing nuclear crisis?

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I think Japan is doing a good job as far as broadcasting the sheer magnitude of what happened. But because they were slow to respond (the government), they have been downplaying quite a few things, but the nuclear issue more so than others.

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What would you say are the main differences between the way the Japanese and foreign media are covering the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the ongoing nuclear crisis?

Japanese Media (TV):

TEPCO/Cabinet has a live news conference. The guest experts then subsequently explains what was being said so that audience can understand.

Foreign Media (TV):

TEPCO/Cabinet has a live news conference. The statements are translated very poorly where some information are completely omitted. Experts who are half a globe away try to explain those translated statements but they too are clueless because many information are omitted. Hence, the illusion that TEPCO/Cabinet are witholding information.

Case in point, during CNN Anderson Cooper, Anderson and his guest half a world away were outraged that workers were being pulled out of the facility. Their response was something like "why aren't they going back in there!! Somebody needs to go back in there!!!" as if they thought these workers were taking a lunch break or something.

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In one TEPCO news conference I saw, the TEPCO people looked very bad: not answering questions, looking at each other, not looking at the reporters, avoiding solid answers.

Reporter: "What's happening?"

TEPCO: "We're very sorry for what's happening." (moshiwakearimasen)

Reporter: "We don't want that. We want to know what's happening."

I think TEPCO got better at answering questions after all the mucked-up hysteria in the foreign news, which was very drama queenish (as lead by head drama queen Anderson Cooper).

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Agree with nigelboy,

On all the programs I have seen(in japan) they have local experts that give full explanations, etc and details are well discussed, explained and covered. Goverment announcements are just that announcements and some details. As often in japan if you want details you need to watch program like Sukkiri, Don, etc as they will go more into details than the actual News programs.

Overseas Media been getting better over the last 2 days with less hyping and exaggerations. Amano's statement after his return to Vienna was well covered and shot down a lot of the scare-mongering news overseas. WHO also been good at giving a realistic picture in Japan.

Adding to that Libiya helped as the got a new big ticker item now and thus started reporting less hyped news from japan. Also some of the news from japan was badly researched with giving wrong distances, wrong locations(Chiba to the west of tokyo, etc) and generally gave the impressions that the WHOLE of Japan was affected.

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Case in point, during CNN Anderson Cooper, Anderson and his guest half a world away were outraged that workers were being pulled out of the facility. Their response was something like "why aren't they going back in there!! Somebody needs to go back in there!!!" as if they thought these workers were taking a lunch break or something.

....................

may be Andy believed Japanese media's earlier report that nothing serious was going on ?

But events just got worse............. so I think I'll stick with CNN .

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All I have to say is one thing: Fox News (American) said there was a nuclear power plant in SHIBUYA (Shibuya Eggman). How in the heck did I miss that for all of these years.

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Japanese media: Residents within a 30 Km radius of the Fukushima where evacuated as a precaution.

Foreign media: Terrified residents forced to flee for their lives in the middle of the night as deadly radiation descended down on the once peaceful area. As each of them stepped onto the bus that would take them far away to a place unknown and to an uncertain future they tearfully glanced back one last time at their homes of so many years each wondering if they would ever see their beloved land again.

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Here's a typical bit on the earthquake from Canadian TV: Announcer: We've just been watching footage of the worst earthquake to ever hit Japan. We have on the phone, Phil, an English teacher who's lived in Tokyo for a year. So, Phil, tell us, Japan gets a lot of earthquakes, but have you ever experienced one like this before?

After about five moronic interviews like that, I turned the sound off.

The best part was watching an eager interviewer trying to get a cautious academic to say something headline-worthy about the nuclear situation. All he would say is, "I don't have enough information to comment on that."

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Here are a couple of headlines from international news reports. I think they answer the question without comment:

Nuclear Winter

Meltdown immanent

Exports contaminated: farmers angry
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I decided not to watch CNN any more due to their gross over-generalizations and Hollywood type reporting like: "The whole of Japan is leveled to the ground..." The Japanese police don't seem to know what they're doing; they're just going around poking into the rubble with a stick..." or "We've all over Japan this week..." Really? I didn't see any reports from Okinawa, Hokkaido or Nagoya? Sendai, Fukushima, Iwate and Tokyo are all of Japan?...Maybe in the eyes of an ignorant American...and they keep comparing Japan to Haiti...the only similarity is that the earth shook under people's feet, that's all. Other than that the situations could not be more different. Screw CNN, I'm changing cable providers...

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I can never trust again foreign media after this. This time I realized that they only want to create mass panic with their reports. The Japanese media is doing fine right now, they were a bit slow at the beginning, we get good explanations and I trust them more.

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Japanese more level-headed. goreign media has, at times, been hysterical.

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Some of the foreign media need to be held accountable for the panic and mental stress they created not only with foreigners in Japan but their familys overseas reading this rubbish they were churning out, some of it was increasingly taking the form of a docu-drama with a mixture of fact, ill-informed non-expert opinion and a fair dose of fiction.

This same media needs to be taken to task for the economic effect their erroneous reporting had, their actions are far reaching and some responsibilty must be expected.

How about all those who were directly affected by the hysteria they created take a class action law suit against these unscrupulous dickheads??

All I can say is they are the lowest of the low for making up headlines to make sales at the expense of others.

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Both Japanese and foreign media have been terrific. Kyung Lah and Anderson Cooper are looking at Pulitzer Prize nominees.

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Kyung Lah and Anderson Cooper are looking at Pulitzer Prize nominees. This is the first time in 11 days that something made me laugh.

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I've seen some remarks from veteran scribes to the effect that the LA Times was on the ball.

With the exception of on-site reporting, the Japanese media reads like it's coming straight from the kisha clubs, which it is.

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While l would say that the foreign media has blown the situation out of context, the Japanese media has definately under stated a lot of whats been happening and also been a bit slow in reporting some of the facts. A prime example is the food contamination issue, JT reported on this yesterday and yet some foreign media had actually been running this story for a couple of days prior. Then you look at the articles, one is basically yes there is radiation in the food, its "miniscule" and nothing to worry about (Radiation discovery fans food fears in Japan, Mon 21st March), it then goes on about how this will impact on farmers etc, and how we shouldnt worry. Yet at the same time on the same site another article (Spinach with radiation comes out with levels are 27 times higher than the limit found, Monday 21st March),says that high doses of radiation have been found in food and the public should not be confussed by rumours and only listen to reliable sources. Well hang on here is the same Japanese news site reporting on the same day contradictory information

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Japanese media = live updates. Foreign media = clueless, fear-mongering and uneducated in the situation!

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Youtube video on how the british media covered the event.

Video-Id: tVWhZ_qGD7g

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Zenny11,

So your saying apart from a comedian poking fun at what has happened this sums up the British coverage. WOW how simplistic a view you have. I saw him take the p out of America, an ad for the tsunami coverage and some news headlines that said there could be a meltdown. And that opposed to Mr Positivity here (Edano) who all he ccan say is "there is no immediate health threat" (in 10-20 years you might be buggered though!!!!

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AdamB, Zenny never said that this coverage sums up the British coverage. He said 'covered' and he probably meant 'some british media' and it is bad enough how some covered it.

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AdamB.

I won't talk to you till you stop the ad-homimem and insuniations.

Take the video for what it is, I posted it to lighten the mood.

Have a good one.

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Zenny11,

Fair enough point taken, as a light hearted look at things it was ok. But l wouldnt say it reflects the way in general the reporting has been that all l was saying.

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I will never trust another news source. Watching the American news is all sensationalist bs. People get in lots of trouble for starting riots. These idiots should be held responsible for causing mass panic. Though Japan will soon be forgotten in the American media due to Libya. Or the next hot button. In watching CNN who can tell me the following: Status of the oil spill? How New Zealand is doing wit their earthquake? Tohoku earthquake? Those are all cold in the American media. Now its a little still on Fukushima, but 90% focused on Libya. Sensationalist BS. Boycotting American media for life.

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genji17 you will need to go to NZherald.com to see what is happening with the christchurch quake.

Nothing much here to see and same with CNN, unless its something to sensationalise no one wants to film it or report anymore.

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While l would say that the foreign media has blown the situation out of context, the Japanese media has definately under stated a lot of whats been happening and also been a bit slow in reporting some of the facts. A prime example is the food contamination issue, JT reported on this yesterday and yet some foreign media had actually been running this story for a couple of days prior.

JT does not equal Japanese media. Sorry if that dissapoints you but JT has failed to cover many aspects on various issues which are covered by other J media.

The food safety issue came to light by the Japanese media on March 17 when the MHWL announced that there may be a contamination within the food chain and had requested the local government to check the levels of contamination.

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Japanese media fundamentally delivers official information. Reputable (not tabloid) foreign media does "journalism." Which Japanese universities offer postgraduate degrees in journalism? Kisha clubs prevent journalism from happening in Japan.

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Japan media, although monotone and robotic at least it delivers No drama and calm despite the storms

Foreign media--drama, over sensitized, exaggerated, needs to chill out, at least has humanity in it and not so dang mechanical like Japanese media.

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Also Japanese media is not very thorough, just delivers info and leaves out the details. No face to face discussions much, nobody expresses their opinions, no debates much either! Doesn`t have the fun stuff like the foreign media has so far.

Foreign media goes all out, thorough, and shows the details using video, models, charts, etc.. At least have people debating, arguing, expressing opinions more than just delivering information!

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may be Andy believed Japanese media's earlier report that nothing serious was going on ?

Japanese media reported the reason for the temporarily evacuation which was a sudden spike in radiation levels. Care to come up with another excuse of AC360?

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Journalist wall of shame here:

h ttp://jpquake.wikispaces.com /Journalist+Wall+of+Shame

Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

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"I think anyone taking the word of certain sections of the foreign media as gospel is in serious error. The real situation in Fukushima is that over 20,000 people have died."

Another by-product of people relying solely on foreign media.

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My wife yesterday commented how some information is actually censored in Japan because it's too embarrassing to the utility and government response. They also don't show dead bodies on Japanese news. Which they normally do when they cover other countries.

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bdiego.

Yah, I bash other countries outside japan, including my own. Good way of reading my posts and totally wrong. Get a glue I am NOT Japanese and often criticize Japan..

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Frankly I'm ashamed of the western media and the way it sensalized the story. Also ashamed of the way their feel the need to paint the Japanese people with their ignorant racist views, I got the feeling that their wrote their "story" on the plane ride over. If I see one more western news source talk about the calm of the Japanese people and try to link it to "samurai spirit" I'll have to puke. Pretty easy to understand why so many foriengers fled Japan in the past week.....because they only understand English and got scared to death by the news they watch. Don't know if it's true but I heard the Americans cleared the shelf of iodone pills in the States. That's American media. Normally I don't have much good to say about Japanese media either, they drop the ball on so many stories over here and are close to useless most of the time but I think they've done a very good job this time. My only critisim is that they didn't ask the questions that the every day man would till a few days after the quake and they started to let celebrities "genojin" ask them. And something has to be done about AC. I'm a middle age man but I'm thinking of having my uterus checked for cancer. Too much of a good thing is still too much.

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J media vs. Foreign media

both are bad, but without foreign media i wouldn't have know how serious the power plants was.

the j media down played the power plant issue. the foreign media was causing mass hysteria

in my opinion use both as information but only you can distinguish garbage / crap / fiction

informative news/ intelligent/ non fiction

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when the aircraft carrier pulled out I new something was terribly wrong with the radiation.

and guess what The USS Ronald Reagan is Nuclear Powered. If a nuclear powered carrier pulls away for a safe distance. You know something is going down.

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Japanese media want to avoid panic while the western media want to increase ratings. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

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I like to watch both to get a middle ground. I also then try to research both sides info to make sure it is legit so I know which one to give more weight to...but the main difference is AC! I have had arigatousagi stuck in my head for the past week...make the madness stop! :P

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Agree with many of the comments on this thread. Japanese television and newspaper media coverage has been good and detailed, if somewhat circumscribed due to cautious official statements and the kisha club system. An initial tendency by some local reporters to use press conferences to try to embarrass spokespersons fortunately seems to have given way to a better, information gathering atmosphere. Overseas media has tended to be sensationalistic and circumscribed by an inability to quickly and fully grasp Japanese language announcements and reporting. New York Times eletronic edition has been better than most, although it oversensationalized remarks by the US nuclear regulatory commission chairman. LA Times has had some scoops on the nuclar issues. As usual, CNN has been overly sensational, too US-focused (even on its international site) and coverage is delayed (news is not much updated between 8pm and 8am, Atlanta time).

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Japanese media want to avoid panic while the western media want to increase ratings. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

sabiwabi -- spot on. And also agree with Mizuame's post as well. With NHK on one end of the spectrum and CNN on the other -- PR versus sensationalism -- it has been good to have folks like the BBC and re-prints of international newspaper's stories in the Daily Yomiuri, to try to get some sense of balance.

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I just saw a foreign headline for a related news article: "Millions Without Food".

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Japanese media posts non-sensationalist information with solid facts behind it.

Foreign media posts misleading facts, flat out lies, sensationalist crap. Anything to turn fear into more money. American media is the worst.

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Don't know: stopped watching CNN as soon as Anderson Cooper started spazzing out.

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lol Cooper and Gutpa looked like a couple of idiots on the building showing off their radiation alarms.

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why these guys here who are defending Japanese media don't go to Fukushima and give those people some help, i have one excuse, i dont trust the the Jgov, we all know they control the media here.

Remember the same Media who is afraid of the Yakuza!!!

why don't you guys give a glass of water to you kids, is ok the few days ago the media said Tokyo people don't need to worry about anything.

is better to be safe than sorry.

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It's funny that you mention that because I seem to recall that body bags filled with soldiers were banned on American tv. Of course any government controlls it's media, if you think any differently you're in for a surprise hopefully later in life. I say hopefully.

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I'ld like to make one clarification, Kisha clubs are not the only source and most publishers and broadcasting networks goes beyond to gather news from various sources. The problem with the Kisha club is that it opens members only exclusive press conferences which non-members cannot attend limiting access to information. It's like the White house press corp. seats are designated and only the selected few are ever able to ask questions and only the privileged few gets to ride Air Force one with the President. There are only limited seats within the press clubs but all accept new applicants as long as they follow the mandatory requirements of attending all meetings which most foreign correspondents fails to accept. As for important announcement made by the government I believe there are no limits for that but like the white house press conferences but you'll need experienced fluent reporters in both Japanese and English attending which again most foreign media co. fails to retain.

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Badge213 - ....where one outlet was reporting that media was being used as shields, but the other media outlets disputing that outlet's reporting.

I heard that story. What a hoot. The British launched 2 cruise missles at a Kadafi compound and planned to follow up with air strikes. Kadafi's people brought in the media to view the damage. The Brit's called off the follow up raid because of the media's presence. FOX media said that the on site media members was being used as a human shield. CNN media says they weren't human shields but couldn't explain why the Brits would call off the air strike because of their presence????

Certainly sounds like they were human shields even if they weren't told they were.

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Some Asian media have been tremendously informative, with some going all the way to assist expats in quake, tsunami-hit areas. ABS-CBNNEWS coverage had been emphatic.

Major American media ABC and NBC were helpful as well. CBS almost abandoned Japan coverage once Operation Odyssey Dawn was launched. Here in Australia, Sky News have my seal of approval, with one disappointment as the network reporters started asking the question 'So should we have nuclear power in Australia?' hours after the quake.

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