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March 29, 2011

Lesson in journalism from NHK: How to not sensationalise disaster coverage

For the past two weeks, NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, has covered a triple disaster, appraising the damage with the help of 14 helicopters, 67 broadcasting vans and virtually no adjectives. Its anchors do not use certain words that might make a catastrophe feel like a catastrophe. “Massive” is prohibited. Same with “severe.” NHK gives its cub reporters an earthquake and tsunami coverage manual — Japan is a country famous for manuals — and here it instructs them in how not to stir panics, and... MORE