Japan Asks Foreign Media to Filter Itself

There’s was another big quake yesterday off the coast of Miyagi, creating a bit of panic for people around Japan.  It’s a difficult situation.  I don’t think this one was so destructive, but I’m sure it added to a lot of people’s stress and discomfort.

In related quake news, the government has also started asking foreign media to not be so sensational in reporting the news about the earthquakes.  While they may have a point about the quality of some journalism out there, I think this is one of those things that highlights a deep differences between Asia and the the West.

The government, right or wrong, ought not to worry about what other independent news agencies are reporting.  In Japan, where the government directly, and heavily influences things like industry and media, this type of suggestion-meant-for-compliance is part of the government structure.  In the West, where checking and balancing are instilled in the responsibility of the population more, you have to take the good with the bad and teach your kids how to decide for themselves how to distinguish the quality of the information.

The quality of how that is put into practice, especially the part about educating the youth, is a another question.  But, the past month has shown us that in Japan maybe it’s better to let in a little more hack, sensational journalism in exchange for a bit more awareness and concern about what is going on.


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