Saturday, 19 March 2011

The world's gone mad

The worlds gone mad and the mass media did it.

I'm sitting in city 650km south west of a major disaster, in a country coming to terms with the scale of the problem. People die every day from hypothermia, malnutrition, and dehydration, third world problems, but I live in the worlds 3rd largest economy. I live in a world that is very much first world. The international media on the other hand seem to think I live in a place that is about to witness the worlds worst nuclear holocaust, if we are to believe some of the reporting, Japan is not far short of reliving the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If we are to believe some of the scare mongering California is about to get radioactive rain clouds. And in the midst of this madness the world looses sight of the humanitarian disaster unfolding in North Eastern Japan and the foreigners flee the country.

I worry that this panicked exodus encourages the media to focus on what is undoubtedly a very serious situation in the nuclear power plant but not the real disaster here. The situation in the power plant, even if we take the very worst case scenario, is never going to harm or kill as many people as the aftermath of the tsunami. Half a million people are living in make shift shelters, some with rationed water and half a rice ball a day for food, but their plight is ignored as we foreigners scramble for the next available flight out and the media focus on manufacturing the most sensationalist news that they can get away with.

The plant is a major incident certainly, yes it is going to put some radioactivity into the surrounding area, yes it is a disaster, yes it should be reported, but what is happening is not reporting. The facts are being carefully and selectively filtered by the international media, to present half truths and sensationalist scare mongering while the people in the north east of Japan suffer as a result.

The world has gone mad, the mass media did it and we ran away.

Enough of this, I'm going out for a ride in the not so nuclear wasteland.

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