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“Japan disaster shows U.S. journalists unprepared” via SF Gate

In the midst of any national disaster, the suggestion arises that citizens have an emergency plan in place and, even better, that they practice disaster preparedness. Apparently most people think that’s silly (or that they’ll never be in a catastrophe), because you rarely see anyone doing the prep work.

Unfortunately, cable news in this country is just as lazy. Because if any institution needs to get back to basics and refocus on what it takes to survive a disaster – or report on it with integrity – it’s the cable news business. The triple threat in Japan – earthquake, tsunami, nuclear reactors in peril – is clearly demonstrating how reporters and anchors are bungling the basics and how the producers and executives in charge of them have fallen woefully short of leadership. How is it possible that on Monday evening (Tuesday in Japan), with the earthquake, tsunami and worries about radiation poisoning engulfing Japan, a CNN reporter can ask this question: “How scary has this been for you?”

Let’s see, my daughter was ripped from my arms in the tsunami, I almost died, I lost my home, my belongings, family, friends. There are constant aftershocks, new tsunami warnings and apparently we’re about to have a nuclear meltdown. I don’t know, dumbass, how scary does that sound to you?

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