Japan

Journalism has often been described as the first draft of history. No incident shows this fact off more than the recent disaster in Japan.

Incredible footage and images have been broadcast worldwide, showing the destructive power of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

The plight faced by the people of Japan is all too apparent, as the continuous news stream has shown us all what’s happening.

When seeing this, something which will become part of history and written about years from now, it’s hard to deny the importance of reporting it.

Not only does it mean we can help by sending relief as soon as possible. It also means we can learn from it.

Scrutiny

We can scrutinise how the government deals with it. We can make sure we are all more prepared for such disasters in the future.

Many people deride the way the news is now shown 24/7. They say it causes them to sensationalise every story and resort to using reams of user generated content.

These points are, for the most part, valid. But when it comes to these, thankfully, rare events, journalists step up to the mark.

Human right

It’s an essential human right nowadays to know what is happening in the world, and journalism provides this function.

As this massive event unfolds further, the story will keep changing and evolving. We owe it those poor people in Japan affected by it to record what happens.

Only then can we know, and be compassionate. And only then can the truth be documented seamlessly for future generations.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Related:

Red Cross

BBC Japan coverage

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