Weekly magazine AERA recently rather shamefully joined what had mostly been a foreign media nuclear sensationalist frenzy with its now infamous, alarmist “Radiation is coming to Tokyo” edition, which went on sale on March 19th.
A close-up of a chilling, biosuited face across the cover and the fearful headline in red clearly made for a image on the news stands meant to induce panic in an already shaken and confused population.
Regular columnist (and playwright) Hideki Noda was apparently not happy about this example of “journalism” and has quit in protest.
This was how he last column read, published in today’s (March 28th) issue:
It’s very sudden but this is my last column. … I was astounded when I saw the cover of last week’s issue of AERA.
A magazine with a circulation of 150,000 certainly knows the power of words.
It’s the mass media’s job, as much as it can, to report correct information about a crisis just as it is is.
What is AERA trying to do? Is it fiction? Or nonfiction?
The fact that his angry final column was published with his statements intact likely indicates contrition on the part of the AERA editorial team, but it might be too late to win back any respect they had.