JournoWall of Shame

We should do this for every major story. The site is a clearinghouse for people on the ground to correct what's being reported from Japan. Here's the scale of offenses:

1 - 2: Probably unintentional, and based on bad info that seemed legit
3 - 4: Not malicious, just misunderstanding of the situation
5 - 6: Reporting without checking easily-confirmed facts; lazy as opposed to malicious OR just dumb fluff piece using human tragedy as a background.
7 - 8: No fact checking; printing rumours as fact; sensational story more important than actual truth
9 : Fear mongering.
10 : Hysterical fear-mongering along with racial/cultural/political bias
11 : Satan

I only skimmed, but most infractions appear to be in the 8-10 range. I wish I could say the examples were extraordinary (like the Telegraph headline about the nuclear plume headed for California that their own story says doesn't exist, or FOX news highlighting as a nuclear plant what's actually a nightclub, but after Katrina, nothing surprises me.  Curtsy: Tim Blair

The creator of the Wall of Shame 'splains:
There are several major areas that journalists particularly suck at:

  • Science reporting.  I have a degree in fine arts, and I could write better science articles than most science writers could.  Any journalist who suggested that Fukushima could be “another Chernobyl” should be made to retake his 9th grade science class and then have his journalist license revoked.   Oh wait…
  • Reporting on Japan.  JAPAN IS SOOO WEIRD!  JAPANESE PEOPLE HAVE NO EMOTION!  If everything you think you know about Japan was learned from the movies Gung Ho and Mr. Baseball, then maybe you’re not qualified to write an article about Japan.  Also, spending a few days, hell, even a month in Japan (probably in a hotel or furnished apartment, or otherwise isolated location) does not make you an expert on the place.  Nor does interviewing someone who has lived here for a few months (or even year, if living in one of the many gaijin bubbles).
  • Disaster reporting.  Two and a half words: Exaggeration and fear-mongering.