Saturday, March 19, 2011

NHK News

If you have the access (and, being online, you do), NHK News is the best outlet by a huge margin for clear and straightforward coverage of the developments following Japan's earthquake and tsunami. It has been the only source I've seen that explained coherently exactly the geography and consequences of the Daichi and Daini nuclear facilities' failures in Fukushima Prefecture - and, of course, being domestic to the events, coverage is extremely deep, and affecting. NHK doesn't have competing priorities right now; their coverage is deliberate without being completely detached, it isn't hurried, yet it is immediate in the best sense of the term. NHK is also coming to me through one of the three channels provided to me by my region's outlets for public broadcasting. One more reason to preserve this institution (which also provides a conduit to BBC News, feeds from Belgium and France - and, yes, even Al Jazeera in English ... which I can't bring myself to watch, but which I actually am glad is made available to me - it's something I might learn from, if I weren't quite so skittish about the source itself).

NHK has brought me, for a couple years now, cultural programming, and this PBS station has included much Japanese scripted entertainment as well, and this past week it has provided genuinely impressive reporting on the ten thousand tragedies of this catastrophe. Right now, I'm watching "Japan, Seven Days". "Bearing up ... holding on: we'll see you again," says the remarkable woman so professionally, but personally, bringing me to tears right now.

Human beings are wondrous in their beauty sometimes.

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