Majia Holmer Nadesan

“Lessons From Fukushima: Governments and the Media Will Deceive the Public and Withhold Vital Information, Leaving Citizens to Create Informal Information Sharing Networks”

This paper will demonstrate that the Japanese and U.S. Governments withheld vital information from their citizens about the direction and risks of Fukushima radiation plumes and the degree and consequences of radioactive fallout. Second, the paper will demonstrate that the mainstream news media, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, were complicit in hiding information about fallout levels, dispersion, and plant conditions. The U.S. media are commonly recognized as more independent from government than Japanese media. This disaster demonstrates that the U.S. mainstream news media censor information, even when public safety is at issue. Finally, this paper examines the spontaneous creation of information sharing sites and the subsequent development of a robust network of citizen-supported information sites in Japan and the United States.

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