Wednesday, April 13, 2011
More about the media deception on the Japanese nuclear crisis...
The headline in yesterday’s USA Today read “The World to the Rescue.” It was followed by the sub-headline, “Japan crisis showcases social media’s muscle.” When I saw this, I immediately thought that the nuclear crisis was under control and folks were using the Internet to help the island country recover.
The story said, “Japan’s disaster has spotlighted the critical role that social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, You Tube and Skype increasingly are playing in responses to crises around the world. They may have been designed largely for online socializing and fun, but such sites and others have empowered people caught up in crises and others wanting to help to share vivid, unfiltered images, audio and text reports before governments or more traditional media can do so.”
On the following page, this headline, “Powerful aftershocks rock Japan, kill teenager.” It was about evacuations around the crippled power plant and a 7.0 aftershock that killed a 16-year old girl. At the end very end of the article came a quote from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano who said, “The nuclear accident is not stabilized” and that “We cannot deny the possibility the situation could get worse.” WHAT?! This is a quote on page 2 of the paper buried at the end of a story about evacuations and the death of a teenager. Why in the heck was this not the lead story? I worked at ABC and CNN for 9 years as an investigative correspondent, and this kind of news judgment is baffling to me. Social networking is cool and all, but the situation is still dire and out of control. The quote was not from some faceless confidential source but a very high ranking member of the Japanese government. This is not over by a long shot, but the front page story leads me (and I’ll bet a lot of other people) to believe the most important part of the story now is Facebook? But, buried on the next page, a high ranking Japanese official is saying, “The nuclear accident is not stabilized” and that “We cannot deny the possibility the situation could get worse.” You have got to be kidding me.