Like everyone else in the world in the last 48 hours, I have been captivated, shocked, and saddened by the events that continue to unfold in Japan. I held off on posting anything about this disaster for a couple of reasons. First I already had a post ready to go. Secondly, it is my view, with major events like this it is important to just take that precious moment and let it all sink in. The second one is something I wish more of us were able to do.
In particular it is the news agencies that are working 24/7 to bring us the news that could benefit most from this notion of letting things unfold. I am all for breaking news, but too often the battle to be first with the big headlines leads to misinformation, and more pain and suffering by those that are caught up in the moment. I’ll give you a case and point on this. At one point, early in the developing story in Japan, someone suggested that almost 90,000 people were presumed missing (at least in my mind this is a gentle let down phrase implying people are dead). Later this was discredited, but I am sure damage had been done. This type of sensationalist headline is designed to draw people in.
That appears to be how our news works anymore. Make the headlines as terrifying as possible to draw in the crowds. Worry about whether there are any facts to back it up afterwards. I think this is a major flaw with 24/7 news. There is no “cool-down” period between when a reporter is seeking information, and when they start reporting the story like in the old days. This can be a good thing since the news is raw and unedited so the moment is captured purely. The flip-side to that though is that there is no time to do real fact checking to verify sensationalist claims that are made. No getting other view points. Somewhere along the lines news became less about the facts, and more about getting the best headline first.
- Good stuff: A break, a breather, a moment. (emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com)
- News: Earthquake followed by Tsunami hits Japan (newsilike.wordpress.com)
- Japan Awakes to Devastation: Join the Live Chat (ac360.blogs.cnn.com)
- Hence Said the Tsunami…. (sistahswholovegod.wordpress.com)