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How media in the Philippines report on Japan

By Leo Gatdula, Manila

The powerful earthquake that rocked Japan on March 11, 2011 is big news in the Philippines not only because of the extent of the disaster itself, but also because there are about 300,000 Filipinos in Japan.

The Philippine media have focused their coverage on the plight of Filipinos working in the richest country in Asia. Every day, Filipinos in the Philippines are provided with reports about how much some Filipinos in Japan want to return to the Philippines and how they are coping with the tragedy.

Focusing on Filipino workers in Japan

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Japan and other parts of the world send billions of dollars back home, helping keep the Philippine economy afloat. It’s one of the reasons why they’re called “modern-day heroes” in the Philippines.

Thus, an OFW-related event is bound be an emotionally charged issue in the country. Whether it’s Filipino sailors seized by Somali pirates or Filipino workers fleeing violence-torn Libya, an OFW-related event will get big-time coverage in the Philippines.




Japanese tragedies stir nuclear debate in Indonesia


By Permadi Kencono Wulan

From Indonesia former DW-AKADEMIE trainee Permadi Kencono Wulan writes that almost all of the country’s media have been covering the events in Japan from the moments they began. Focus has been on memories of the tsunami that happened in Indonesia, the strength and fortitude of the Japanese people, the impact of the damaged nuclear reactors and on Indonesian eyewitnesses who had been living in Japan, alongside interviews with celebrities who have lived there.

News also stirred about Japanese adult film star Miyabi who had gone missing after the tsunami. Much news space in Indonesia was devoted to coverage of the evacuation and the impact of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima.


The impact of an exploding nuclear reactor

Permadi, who is head of new media at RRI Indonesia, highlighted early reports by Indonesia’s Metro TV on the impact of a nuclear reactor that exploded and the possibility of radiation. It communicated how this concerns the world community at large and Indonesia in particular because of the effects of radiation that might spread due to wind, sea water, birds and migrating fish.




Asian media coverage of Japan in crisis

Recent events in Japan shocked the world. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit on March 11th and the tsunami and nuclear disaster it triggered have been top developing stories for media everywhere. But the focus and style of reporting differ from one country or region to the next.
Here in Germany the media have devoted much attention to the nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima reactors (see for example Spiegel Online's English-language coverage) and the resulting danger of radiation threatening human health and the food supply. Of course German news outlets also reported extensively about the rescue efforts after the tsunami and the aftermath of the devastating quake. Those stories, however, didn't take up quite as much space in the newspapers and on TV news broadcasts as Japan’s nuclear crisis. The reason behind this may be that Germans still clearly remember the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, but have never experienced a tsunami in their country.
DW-AKADEMIE's Asia blog asked former trainees to tell us how the media in their countries have been dealing with the events in Japan. Reports arrived from China, Nepal, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Over the next few days we'll publish a series of guest blog posts revealing what our community of journalists have to say about Asian coverage of the ongoing crises in Japan. First in the series is the view from China.