“Its the Apocalypse”, more after this

Is it just me or does much of the reporting from Japan have a certain giddiness, a breathless excitement of what may come next mixed with a dour expression of the degree of gloom looming with every next story?

I keep anticipating the growing expectations of nuclear horror to even drift right into the local traffic reports which precede most newscasts… “And in Northern Japan right now the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse are causing major delays to the flow of human refugees from quake stricken areas about to become too hot for human life… and now, the news and the latest on what’s happening in this ‘developing story’…

Japan is a big story. We know that because so many anchors are in country giving the story their personal touch, their individual raised eyebrow of concern and sobering reporting. The disaster in Japan reportage is punctuated by all the big hitters – the New York and Washington show hosts – who have been sent to the center of the action, as if the usual cadre of reporters might not be sufficient to indicate how great the devastation, how overwhelming the human toll and emotion, the degree to which this story is setting and influencing a national (to us) agenda. Now that the media commitment has been made in country, now this is big, and they tell us so.

I am as interested in the Beltway experts who in the hour of nuclear international dismay have stopped bullying one another long enough while weighing in on “just what might be happening” with their own editorial driven speculation (prejudices/agendas/points of view) about unseen events/actions/news releases from half way around the world while making often self-serving, self-aggrandizing points such as, “as they have been saying, worrying and warning all along” some thing like this was bound to happen”, “it was just a matter of time”, and this “should be a warning to us to address our…” nuclear/energy/national policy decisions going forward”.

These are quite obviously serious times. Events, while moving quickly, are not entirely clear, seen or immediately reported. As much as we want to know now, as much as we feel we must have decisive information immediately, this is a story where exact facts, truths and events are as clear as mud. Patience, while a virtue, is not being practiced. Maybe it can’t be… but the breathless excitement over each new tidbit, headline, next half hour of what’s coming up and how bad it will be is getting exhausting.

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Author: Peter Shaplen Productions

More than four decades of experience as a journalist, producer, reporter, writer and professor of news, corporate production, crisis management.

2 thoughts on ““Its the Apocalypse”, more after this”

  1. To get what you want, you’ll have to watch PBS or BBC World Report on BBC America – since that is the only news that has not been assimilated by the Borg-like Murdoch Australio-British tabloid propaganda/infotainment model.

    Under the current “Infoganda” disguised with the mere trappings of news acting as a corporate profit engine paradigm: The Japanese tragedy is great video with compelling visuals – basically for free off the sat feed – since Japan is a first-world country chock full of high def video from coast to coast.

  2. As ever, you are spot. Each time I tune in to hear the latest the anchors are talking like a nuclear disaster has happened and there is, as you say, a giddiness in their delivery. The only reason I know a nuclear disaster has not happened is that the high-profile anchor is still there reporting. Come the real deal, I’m sure that won’t be the case.

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