Reporting on power plant was irresponsible reporting

Regarding problems at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, I am once again at a loss to understand why so many reputable news agencies around the world are allowing irresponsible reporting. Using misleading wording such as “not yet a health hazard” implies that, at some unspecified future date, some unknown hazards may occur. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The best reporting on this subject that I’ve encountered comes from a long series of articles published by The Register, an online newspaper in the UK that reports for the information technology sector, and includes other important and topical stories. March 25 they reported that

“The situation at the quake- and tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan was brought under control days ago. It remains the case as this is written that there have been no measurable radiological health consequences among workers at the plant or anybody else, and all indications are that this will remain the case. And yet media outlets around the world continue with desperate, increasingly hysterical and unscrupulous attempts to frame the situation as a crisis.

So, basically nothing happened. Three people sustained injuries equivalent to a mild case of sunburn. But this was reported around the globe as front-page news under headlines such as ‘Japanese Workers Hospitalized for Excessive Radiation Exposure’. Just to reiterate: it was not excessive…”

Not much else to add, except to express sadness that poor reporting has misdirected energy better used for vital relief efforts, and that there has been no public backlash toward news agencies and reporters who use such scare tactics.

Chris Cobb
Hills of Portalón

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