Japan Quake Shakes TV: März 2011

März 2011

Japan Quake Shakes TV: The Media Response to Catastrophe

Philip Cunningham

"Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. We have just experienced an earthquake. Please move away from the buildings to an open area...We will provide more detailed information as soon as possible..."

The polite but authoritative "we" was the voice of the Tokyo DisneySea theme park in this instance, but similar, oddly reassuring warnings of peril were being echoed across Japan, mostly following the lead of television broadcaster NHK.

Japan has a thriving terrestrial broadcast television market, which in most cities comes down to half a dozen key players. To watch Tokyo's six main TV stations side by side, as media scholars sometimes do, is to be subjected to an overload of dazzling color, brightly-lit sets, short, snappy jingles, silly commercials and plodding documentaries.

When the biggest earthquake in memory hit Japan at 2:46 PM on the afternoon of March 11, 2011, it took less than ten minutes for the bright, cluttered screens to be drained of color, commercialism and fun. With a disaster unfolding, TV stations were under intense pressure to change the tone of their broadcasts. This article assesses-and shows major footage-on the Japanese media's response to disaster as it struck.

Philip Cunningham is a professor of media studies who has taught at Chulalongkorn University and Doshisha University. He is the author of Tiananmen Moon: Inside the Chinese Student Uprising of 1989

Recommended citation: Philip J Cunningham, "Japan Quake Shakes TV: The Media Response to Catastrophe," The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 13 No 6, March 28, 2011

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Am 11. März 6:46 Uhr jährt sich Erdbeben & Tsunami in Fukushima. Weltweites Gedenken.
kind02 200

>Prozess gegen die Her-steller des AKW Fukushima<
>Gebet und Andacht<

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