nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Media and nuclear – theme for March 2017

Today’s news media is a smorgasbord of online blogs,Facebook. Twitter, Youtube, Linked-In and a hundred other online sites. Oh, and yes, there are still some online, and even print, newspapers. You remember those last. They employed reputable investigative journalists, who did fact-checking about their news sources.

With journalists dropping off employment like flies, anyone can write anything – no fact-checking needed. It might be fabricated.  It ‘s likely to be biased and inaccurate.
The “old media” – newspapers, radio, TV have long been vulnerable to uncritically disseminating propaganda articles from industry. Even more so, now, as they struggle financially. Industry handouts are much cheaper than real  journalism. That situation is a boon to the nuclear lobby.
social-media-1The “new media” is also a boon to the nuclear industry. They already pay lobbyists,Twitter and Facebook users, and especially Youtube-ers to daily spin out propaganda items by the hundreds. Nuclear lobbyists make use of “bots” to send  tweets in multiples, which actually come from just one software programme. At the same time, nuclear companies continue to produce glossy, expensive, sophisticated films and TV series. Their latest effort will hit the cinemas soon –  The New Fire.
As if this media revolution were not enough, the nuclear industry now receives a new bonus, the  rise of fascism, pioneered trump-twitterby Donald Trump, and perhaps soon to hit Europe and other countries. With an uncanny and Goebbels-like ability to home in on the right places in the media landscape, Trump makes brilliant use of  Twitter. Doesn’t matter if his tweets are lies – they are regurgitated across the world, and believed in by many.
Like all dictators, Trump’s first attack is on the media. Any journalism that Trump doesn’t like is “Fake Press”.  Reputable credible news sources like CNN and New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC, Huffington Post and BuzzFeed News. are now “enemies of the people” , and banned from White House media briefings. Instead, Trump trump-puppet-of-weapons-makerscrony publications like Breitbart are welcomed.
What does this mean for the nuclear industry? Well. probably Trump-dominated media will be a positive for them. Let’s not forget, Donald Trump is in power, for now, under suffrance from the Republican Party on behalf of the richest industrialists.
What does it all mean for us, writers and readers who seek genuine information?
Judith Donath of CNN said it for me:

“help promote a culture that reveres veracity. Check your sources before you post anything. Support newspapers and other organizations that do good, reliable reporting. Discourage people in your own community when they promote stories that feel good to you, but are, alas, untrue. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/20/opinions/fake-news-stories-thrive-donath/

February 27, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, media | 1 Comment

Media war against climate scientists – Mail on Sunday (UK) launches new attack

climate-changeMail on Sunday launches the first salvo in the latest war against climate scientists  https://www.skepticalscience.com/rose-launches-first-salvo-latest-war-against-climate-scientists.html 7 February 2017 by John Abraham

In this new political era, climate scientists and their science are under attack. The attack is from multiple fronts, from threats to pull funding of the important instruments they use to measure climate change, to slashing their salaries and jobs. But there is a real fear of renewed personal attacks, and it appears those fears are now being realized. What the attackers do is identify and isolate scientists – a process termed the “Serengeti Strategy” by well-known and respected scientist Michael Mann who suffered these types of attacks for years.

The author of the recent attack piece, David Rose in the UK, has a history of denying the well-established science of climate change. He has a long history of making incorrect climate change statements. In the attack, Mr. Rose claims that scientists used misleading data in a recent (2015) paper that studied the rate of temperature change across the globe. He reportedly obtained information from someone who works at NOAA to imply that internal review procedures were not followed as the paper was prepared for publication. What Mr. Rose omitted however, is incredibly telling and he does a disservice to his readers.

First, he neglects to mention that the work from the 2015 paper authored by Dr. Thomas Karl and others at NOAA has already been independently verified by other researchers.

The second thing Rose neglects to mention is that his story’s source was never involved any part of the work. According to a colleague of the authors Peter Thorne, this source:

never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely. This shows in his reputed (I am taking the journalist at their word that these are directly attributable quotes) misrepresentation of the processes that actually occurred. In some cases these misrepresentations are publically verifiable.

Mr. Rose further neglects to mention that Dr. Karl was not involved in the development of the critical sea surface temperature data that was used in the study. That information was already published before the Karl paper appeared.

The attack piece also claims that the scientists discarded high-quality temperature measurements in favor of low quality data. This claim is demonstrably false, as described here and here.

The lengths to which Mr. Rose goes in his attack are disheartening and dishonest. He includes a graph that appears to show two temperature results that disagree. When they are replotted correctly, as temperature anomalies with correct baselines, the discrepancy disappears. This finding shows that the NOAA results from 2015 actually agree extremely well with data from other institutions.

Click here to read the rest

February 10, 2017 Posted by | climate change, media, UK | Leave a comment

People are tweeting ClimateFacts since EPA workers can’t

By John D. Sutter, CNN January 26, 2017 Source: Employees terrified by EPA lockdow  John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion who focuses on climate change and social justice. Follow him on SnapchatTwitter and Facebook or subscribe to his email newsletter.

January 28, 2017 Posted by | climate change, media, USA | Leave a comment

Journalists unite in a Slack channel devoted to Freedom of Information and to examining Trump

6ceed-japan-government-officially-censors-truth-about-fukushima-nuclear-radiation-disasterFlag-USAJournalists around the country are joining a Slack channel devoted to FOIA and Trump http://www.poynter.org/2017/journalists-around-the-country-are-joining-a-slack-channel-devoted-to-foia-and-trump/446640/ By Kristen Hare • January 25, 2017 A few days before President Trump’s inauguration, MuckRock opened up a Slack channel to help journalists better cover him and his administration.

As of Wednesday, 250 people signed up. Most are journalists, about half from national newsrooms and half from local newsrooms around the country. Update: As of Thursday, 1,500 people have signed up.

“Anytime we have a new administration, there’s turnover and there are changes,” said Michael Morisy, MuckRock’s co-founder. “I always think it’s important for reporters to get an understating of what that new administration’s priorities are. I think that’s true no matter who’s taking office.”

The open-government nonprofit first launched the channel with a small group of people about a week after Trump won the election. The channel works to help build requests, workshop ideas, ask questions and share results. It’s a collaborative approach for journalists that MuckRock has seen more of in the last few years.

MuckRock isn’t the only organization putting forth ideas about how journalists can work together to cover the new president.

On Tuesday, Panama Papers journalists wrote for The Guardian about the need for both collaboration and solidarity in covering Trump. NPR stations nationwide are also working together to cover state government. “It’s still a challenge, and it will continue to be a challenge,” Morisy said, especially in a tough business environment. But those same forces can also drive collaboration.

There’s already a strong community of open-government advocates, journalists and citizens who want to know what elected officials are up to. The Slack channel offers another outlet for that, Morisy said. Kelly Hinchcliffe, a WRAL reporter and FOIA columnist for Poynter, said she hasn’t tried the new channel yet, but she’s interested to see how it works. She often turns to colleagues for help with FOIA requests, and she’s on IRE’s NICAR listserv, where people ask questions now and then.

“Hopefully this will help reporters and others make requests more easily and learn more about the FOIA process. I’ve been making FOIA requests for years and still need advice every once in awhile.”

There are currently more than 90 active members and about 90 percent are journalists. Morisy is sending out invitations to people who’ve asked to join the group, and he plans to watch the channel closely to make sure people are respecting members’ privacy and behaving themselves.

MuckRock already has several resources for journalists covering Trump, including past findings about Trump and his cabinet picks.

The timing looks to be just right with the new administration’s push this week to remove some data sets from government websites and new restrictions on how one agency can communicate with the public and the press, Morisy said.

“I think making sure the public has access to what the government is up to is more important than ever.”

January 27, 2017 Posted by | media | Leave a comment

THE NEW CON – film “THE NEW FIRE” -nuclear advertising for 2017

film-the-new-fire

The “New Nuclear” lobby is kicking off its New Nuclear propaganda for 2017 with its favourite tactic – FILM.

 

They started this method with great success in 2013 with a very glossy and quite seductive advertisement calld “Pandora’s Promise”  That has now been rehashed many times, e.g on Youtube. It pretends to be a documentary about c limate change, but is really a hymn to new nuclear “Generation IV” technology, especially Small Nuclear Reac

tors, and to endless consumption of electricity.

 

Then came the even more sophisticated and glossier television series, “Twisting the Dragon’s Tail”,  a subtle nuclear advertisement promotion that featured Australia quite strongly. Cleverly introducing the negative aspects of the nuclear industry, it finishes with that same message for boundless energy consumption via New Nuclear.

 

These  so-called “independent documentaries” are  quite lavishly and expensively produced. Who pays for them?  That is a well-kept secret. Do  presenters like Derek Muller (Dragon’s Tail) understand how they are being used?

 

“The New Fire” is currently under production, using, as those other ads did, very capable media professionals. We have no idea who is behind this project, but, with billionaires now in the Small Nuclear Reactor business, we can suspect those in the nuclear front group “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” 

 

The theme of those first two nuclear propaganda films was about the “need for ever-rocketing electricity consumption, cool-peopleand how new small nuclear reactors will meet that need.”

 

Thee theme of this 2017 nuclear advertisement will be that “only via new nuclear power can the world be saved from climate change”  It will focus on the new smart young people who reject the boring old people’s anxiety about nuclear power.

 

 

THE NEW FIRE  describes itself as ” an independent documentary that will introduce audiences to young nuclear engineers who are developing next-generation reactors which they hope will provide clean and safe solutions to the world’s future energy needs. Could these audacious innovators be the agents of change the world has been waiting for? With unprecedented access to key people, places and events, award-winning filmmaker David Schumacher has traveled the globe to capture a powerful, eye-opening story that needs to be told now—before it’s too late.” 

December 31, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The silence about the continuing horror in Japan

, by Radio Ecoshock  Well I guess the triple-meltdown nuclear disaster at Fukushima is all over. It must be. We’re not hearing much about it, right? As we’re about to find out, the silence about the continuing horror in Japan is no accident.

Robert Hunziker has some news even hardened Fukushima-watchers missed. Robert’s the free-lance environmental journalist whose work is published all over the world. This latest article can be found in the online magazine Counterpunch on October 31st, under the title “Fukushima Cover Up”. Fukushima Cover Up

I’ve covered the triple-melt down at Fukushima from the very day it started. There were emergency podcasts, interviews with tons of experts, including from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Just Google “Radio Ecoshock and Fukushima” and stand back. But just because the story is over in the media, and the Japanese government would dearly love us all to forget about it – THIS ACCIDENT IS STILL HAPPENING.

Fukushima extinction 1

The three reactor cores, including one laced with plutonium, are still lost somewhere under the ground in Fukushima, and still pumping out massive amounts of radioactivity. The Japanese utility TEPCO, which went bankrupt and was bailed out at huge cost by the people of Japan, continues to pump out very radioactive water, to be stored in an ever-increasing vast tank farm on the site. That may go on for another 40 years or so, except (a) the company is running out of places to build those tanks and (b) radioactive particles are flowing into the Pacific Ocean daily anyway.

The Government announced an “ice wall” to contain that radioactivity, but that didn’t work, despite the tens of billions of dollars spent. There is no solution to this problem.

Radioactivity is now acknowledged by American experts as having arrived in the currents to the West Coast of North America. Of course the Pacific fisheries has been irradiated. I would not eat fish caught there. The levels may be “low” but there is no safe level of radioactivity.

The Fukushima nuclear accident also continues because the people irradiated by the accident (including a huge part of Japan, and including Tokyo) will pass down illness for an unknown number of generations. The largest number of people receiving medical treatment due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster were born AFTER the accident, Robert Hunziker tells us. The government and the nuclear industry have found multiple ways to hide this.

One of the largest was to pass fake “terrorism” legislation, where any journalist reporting on Fukushima impacts could be charged as a “terrorist”. Then some one leaned on the largest daily newspaper of Japan (7.5 million subscribers, about triple the New York Times) to dismantle their team of more than two dozen journalists covering Fukushima. After winning awards for their reporting and exposes, these journalists at Asahi Shimbum newspaper were either fired or moved to other departments. That’s another way to “solve” the crisis.

I won’t go into all the ways the doctors have been silenced, medical records faked, and “temporary” workers at the cleanup not counted. It’s horrifying – and it’s an example of why humans cannot be trusted with nuclear power.

Japan says they have “cleaned up” the Fukushima area, by scraping up dirt and storing it God-Knows-Where in giant bags which might circle the Earth if lined up together. I doubt it, and nobody can “clean up” all the forests which were laced with particles, right up to and including plutonium that last for over half a million years. The clean-up is a fairy tale.

Meanwhile, and this is too incredible, Japan has somehow captured the 2020 Olympics. Worse, they plan to force people evacuated from nearby Fukushima city back into hot zones (by cutting off their aid if they don’t). They, Japan has scheduled sports events at Fukushima – with local food brought in from the irradiated zone! It’s not bad enough our athletes had to deal with Zika virus and polluted water in the Brazil Olympics. No, they have to be publicity guinea pigs for the Japanese nuclear disaster.

By the way, during my many interviews and podcasts, often using reporting from Japanese TV during the incident, there is no doubt that Tokyo itself was blanketed by nuclear particles. More ran into the underground water supply from the nearby irradiated hills.

Earthquakes continue to rock the Fukushima area, like this one. Who knows what can happen, with those lost reactor cores. ra ra http://www.ecoshock.org/2016/12/greenland-melt-japanese-meltdown-conspiracy.html

December 26, 2016 Posted by | Japan, media | Leave a comment

Trump attacks NBC News: he claims that it purposely misquoted him

trump-angry-toddlerTrump claims NBC ‘purposely’ misquoted nuclear comments, Politico, By 12/24/16 
President-elect Donald Trump claimed Saturday that NBC News “purposely” misquoted his call for an expansion of the U.S. nuclear program earlier this week, despite reports to the contrary.

Trump on Thursday said the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” Saturday he accused NBC of intentionally leaving out the latter, more measure portion of his statements……..

NBC News’ initial report covering Trump’s comments on nuclear expansion, however, cited his comments in full. And the Thursday broadcast of NBC’s “Nightly News with Lester Holt” displayed his comments in their entirety.

Trump’s claim of dishonesty in media coverage has been a calling card of his ascendance to the White House. Since winning the presidency, Trump has repeatedly attacked the media, broadly accusing them of inciting violence against him, singling out individual reporters and blasting the press as “crooked.”……http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/donald-trump-nbc-nuclear-232960

December 26, 2016 Posted by | media, politics, USA | 1 Comment

No room for wives in BBC’s staff nuclear cold war bunker

atomic-bomb-ltext-from-the-archivesBBC staff offered chance to survive nuclear holocaust – but wives left at men onlyhome http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/23/bbc-staff-offered-chance-to-survive-nuclear-holocaust—but-wive/ Telegraph Reporters 23 JULY 2016 

BBC employees were offered the chance to survive a nuclear holocaust by broadcasting from an underground bunker, but they could not tell their wives, newly released files reveal.

The broadcaster secretly drew up plans during the Cold War for how it would run a Wartime Broadcasting System in the event of a major disaster.

Early versions of the plan – known as the ‘War Book’ – say that staff were “assigned” or “designated” to go underground, but later editions suggest they were “invited”. Chosen workers were informed not to tell their wives or bring them to the bunker, the files released by the BBC reveal.

“My clearest memory is of a discussion about whether people with spouses could bring them along,” Bob Doran, an experienced editor in Radio News in the 1980s, who attended a civil service seminar in Yorkshire said. The answer was no.
BBC bosses planned to set up 11 protected bunkers – known as ‘Regional Seats of Government’ – spread across the UK, each with a studio and five staff from nearby local radio stations.

A bunker at the Engineering Training Department at Wood Norton in Worcestershire would be a headquarters staffed by 90 BBC staff including engineers, announcers, 12 news editors and sub-editors.

The output would be controlled by the government, but the BBC made a collection of cassette tapes of old radio comedies to entertain the public.

Shows chosen to amuse listeners during Armageddon included the Goon Show, Just a Minute and Round the Horne.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | history, media, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

1986 “glossy safe” image of nuclear industry – still being spun today

Dr Pangloss

the long-term effects of low-level radiation exposure have consistently been downplayed, distorted or concealed by scientists, the nuclear industry and the government.

It seems that while the US and the USSR had a hard time cooperating on nuclear arms at that time, they had a tacit agreement to cover up each other’s nuclear power mistakes.

these facts, like all those about nuclear power and nuclear weapons testing, were kept secret and released only through the efforts of private citizens and a few courageous researchers and journalists.

At least 250,000 American troops were directly exposed to atomic radiation during the 17 years of bomb testing here and in the Pacific, but they have been totally ignored by the government and the Army.

There is little doubt that hundreds died and that countless others developed illnesses that led to death from various cancers, blood disorders and chronic body ailments. Today the government still rejects all claims for such illnesses.

The press also played a role in soothing public fears.

the US has led the world in setting examples of deliberate deceit, suppression of information and harassment of nuclear critics

Professionals, in order to perform their work, resist truth strongly if it calls the morality of their work into question. They sincerely believe they are helping humankind. In addition, scientific research involves so many uncertainties that scientists can, with an easy conscience, rationalize away dangers that are hypothetical or not immediately observable. They also have an intellectual investment if not a financial one in continuing their work as well as families to support, and nuclear science in particular has been endowed not only with government money and support but great status and prestige.

In order to perform professional work, one must not only believe one is doing good but must also rationalize the dangers. Indeed, with regard to ionizing radiation, this is quite easy inasmuch as the risks of radiation exposure at any level are statistical and not immediately manifested.


text-from-the-archivesPro Nuclear Propaganda: How Science, Government and the Press Conspire to Misinform the Public
 http://www.lornasalzman.com/collectedwritings/pro-nuclear.html by Lorna Salzman Hunter College, Energy Studies program, 1986  After the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in the Soviet Union, there was much finger-wagging in the US about the suppression of information there, and the purported differences in reactor design and safety requirements between Russia and the US, which made a similar accident here unlikely if not impossible Continue reading

December 2, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history, media, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

US media ignores historic United Nations vote on convening nuclear disarmament meeting

media-propagandaThe UN makes history on a nuclear weapons ban. Does the US care?, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, JOE CIRINCIONE 2 NOVEMBER 2016  Joe Cirincione is president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation.
   If a treaty rises in the United Nations and US media don’t notice, does the treaty make a difference? This is the situation confronting proponents of the process begun October 27, when—by a vote of 123 for, 38 against, and 16 abstaining—the First Committee of the UN agreed “to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.”

It was a historic moment. Despite dozens of nuclear crises and war scares, UN members have never in the 71-year history of the body voted for such a sweeping measure. Yet no major US paper covered the vote. Why not?……

The United States, however, adamantly opposed the resolution and, according to some observers, fiercely lobbied its allies, particularly those enclosed in the US “nuclear umbrella,” to vote against the new process. ….

There is hope for a more optimistic and safer view of nuclear threats to re-emerge. The treaty vote is one sign that many nations have lost patience with the barely discernable, “step-by-step” process that nuclear-armed nations have followed in regard to arms control and eventual nuclear disarmament. The alternative process the countries voting for the ban treaty have begun–encouraged and aided by civil society groups–is having an impact, and may spur the nuclear-armed states to move faster……..http://thebulletin.org/un-makes-history-nuclear-weapons-ban-does-us-care10123

November 4, 2016 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Asahi Shimbun made brave effort for investigative journalism

Sinking a bold foray into watchdog journalism in Japan , Columbia Journalism Review By Martin Fackler OCTOBER 25, 2016 IT SEEMED LIKE COMPELLING JOURNALISM:a major investigative story published by The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second largest daily newspaper, about workers fleeing the Fukushima nuclear plant against orders.

It was the work of a special investigative section that had been launched with much fanfare to regain readers’ trust after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011, when the Asahi and other media were criticized for initially repeating the official line that the government had everything safely under control.

The team had been producing award winning journalism for three years, but the story on the workers would be the last for some of its ace reporters. And its publication in May 2014 would come to mark the demise of one of the most serious efforts in recent memory by a major Japanese news organization to embrace a more independent approach to journalism.

The hastiness of the Asahi’s retreat raised fresh doubts about whether such watchdog journalism—an inherently risky enterprise that seeks to expose and debunk, and challenge the powerful—is even possible in Japan’s big national media, which are deeply tied to the nation’s political establishment.

The editors at Asahi, considered the “quality paper” favored by intellectuals, knew the culture they were facing, but they saw the public disillusionment in Japan that followed the nuclear plant disaster as the opportunity launch a bold experiment to reframe journalism.

No more pooches

On the sixth floor of its hulking headquarters overlooking Tokyo’s celebrated fish market, the newspaper in October 2011 hand-picked 30 journalists to create a desk dedicated to investigative reporting, something relatively rare in a country whose big national media favor cozy ties with officials via so-called press clubs. The clubs are exclusive groups of journalists, usually restricted to those from major newspapers and broadcasters, who are stationed within government ministries and agencies, ostensibly to keep a close eye on authority. In reality, the clubs end up doing the opposite, turning the journalists into uncritical conduits for information and narratives put forth by government officials, whose mindset the journalists often end up sharing.

The choice to head of the new section was unusual: Takaaki Yorimitsu, a gruff, gravelly-voiced outsider who was not a career employee of the elitist Asahi, and had been head-hunted from a smaller regional newspaper for his investigative prowess. Yorimitsu set an iconoclastic tone by taping a sign to the newsroom door declaring “Datsu Pochi Sengen,” or “No More Pooches Proclamation”—a vow that his reporters would no longer be kept pets of the press clubs, but true journalistic watchdogs.

The new section gave reporters a broad mandate to range across the Asahi’s rigid internal silos in search of topics, while also holding to higher journalistic standards, such as requiring using the names of people quoted in stories instead of the pseudonyms common in Japanese journalism.

The Investigative Reporting Section proved an instant success, winning Japan’s top journalism award two years in a row for its exposure of official coverups and shoddy decontamination work around the nuclear plant, which was crippled when a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out vital cooling systems. The section’s feistier journalism offered hope of attracting younger readers at a time when the 7 million-reader Asahi and Japan’s other national dailies, the world’s largest newspapers by circulation, were starting to feel the pinch from declining sales.

The Asahi Shimbun believes such investigative reporting is indispensable,” the newspaper’s president at the time, Tadakazu Kimura, declared in an annual report in 2012. The new investigative section “does not rely on information obtained from press clubs, but rather conducts its own steadfast investigations that require real determination.”

That is why it was all the more jarring when, just two years later, the Asahi abruptly retreated from this foray into watchdog reporting. In September 2014, the newspaper retracted the story it had published in May about workers fleeing the Fukushima plant against orders, punishing reporters and editors responsible for the story, slashing the size of the new section’s staff and forcing the resignation of Kimura, who had supported the investigative push.

A newspaper-appointed committee of outside experts later declared that the article, which the Asahi had trumpeted as a historic scoop, was flawed because journalists had demonstrated “an excessive sense of mission that they ‘must monitor authority.’”

While the section was not closed down altogether, its output of major investigative articles dropped sharply as the remaining journalists were barred from writing about Fukushima.

Emasculating the Asahi

The abrupt about-face by the Asahi, a 137-year-old newspaper with 2,400 journalists that has been postwar Japan’s liberal media flagship, was was an early victory for the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which had sought to silence critical voices as it moved to roll back Japan’s postwar pacifism, and restart its nuclear industry………..

Despite peer pressure, Asahi journalists say the newspaper initially intended to defend its Fukushima scoop, going so far as to draw up a lengthy rebuttal that was to have run on page one in early September. As late as Sept. 1, Seiichi  Ichikawa, the head of the Investigative Section at the time, told his reporters that the newspaper was ready to fight back. “The government is coming after the Special Investigative Section,” Ichikawa said in a pep talk to his team, according to Watanabe and others who were present. “The Asahi will not give in.”

The rebuttal was never published. Instead, President Kimura surprised many of his own reporters with a sudden about face, announcing at a press conference on Sept. 11 that he was retracting the Fukushima-Yoshida article. Reporters say the newspaper’s resolve to defend the piece crumbled when journalists within the newspaper began an internal revolt against the article and the section that produced it.

This was compounded by a sense of panic that gripped the newspaper, as declines in readership and advertising accelerated markedly after the scandals. Fearing for the Asahi’s survival, many reporters chose to sacrifice investigative journalism as a means to mollify detractors, say media scholars and some Asahi journalists, including Yorimitsu.

The Asahi’s official line is that the story was too flawed to defend.The paper’s new president, Masataka Watanabe, continues to talk about the importance of investigative journalism, and some current and former Asahi journalists say investigative reporting will make a comeback.

However, scholars and former section reporters say the setback was too severe. They say the Asahi’s decision to punish its own journalists will discourage others from taking the same risks inherent in investigative reporting. Worse, they said the Asahiseemed to lapse back into the old, access-driven ways of Japan’s mainstream journalism. “The Asahi retreated from its experiment in risky, high-quality journalism, back into the safety of the press clubs,” said Tatsuro Hanada, a professor of journalism at Waseda University in Tokyo. Hanada was so dismayed by the Asahi’s retreat that he established Japan’s first university-based center for investigative journalism at Waseda this year. “It makes me think that the days of Japan’s huge national newspapers may be numbered.”

Martin Fackler is a Research Fellow at the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, a Tokyo-based think tank. Prior to joining RJIF in 2015, he worked for two decades as a correspondent in Asia, including as Tokyo bureau chief for The New York Times from 2009 to 2015. http://www.cjr.org/the_feature/asahi_shimbun_japan_journalism.php

November 4, 2016 Posted by | Japan, media | Leave a comment

America moves to silence Wikileaks

Washington moves to silence WikiLeaks, WSW,  19 October 2016

The cutting off of Internet access for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is one more ugly episode in a US presidential election campaign that has plumbed the depths of political degradation.

Effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over four years, Assange now is faced with a further limitation on his contact with the outside world.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry of Ecuador confirmed WikiLeaks’ charge that Ecuador itself had ordered the severing of Assange’s Internet connection under pressure from the US government. In a statement, the ministry said that WikiLeaks had “published a wealth of documents impacting on the US election campaign,” adding that the government of Ecuador “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and “does not interfere in external electoral processes.” On that grounds, the statement claimed, the Ecuadorian government decided to “restrict access” to the communications network at its London embassy……

WikiLeaks cited reports that Secretary of State John Kerry had demanded that the government of Ecuador carry out the action “on the sidelines of the negotiations” surrounding the abortive Colombian peace accord last month in Bogota. The US government intervened to prevent any further exposures that could damage the campaign of Clinton, who has emerged as the clear favorite of the US military and intelligence complex as well as the Wall Street banks.

Whether the State Department was the only entity placing pressure on Ecuador on behalf of the Clinton campaign, or whether Wall Street also intervened directly, is unclear. The timing of the Internet cutoff, in the immediate aftermath of the release of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches, may be more than coincidental…….http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/10/19/pers-o19.html

October 22, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, USA, Wikileaks | Leave a comment

Amy Goodman case dismissed -–No Thanks to Corporate Media

justiceCharges Dropped Against Amy Goodman–No Thanks to Corporate Media, Common media-propagandaDreams, byJim Naureckas , 18 Oct 16 

North Dakota District Judge John Grinsteiner stood up for the First Amendment by dismissing “riot” charges against Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!,10/17/16). That’s more than you can say for most of Goodman’s corporate media colleagues.

After Goodman reported on the use of pepper spray and attack dogs against Native American demonstrators opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (Democracy Now!9/4/16), North Dakota State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson charged her with criminal trespassing. Realizing that he couldn’t make that charge stick, he sought to charge her instead with participation in a “riot”—based on Erickson’s contention that Goodman “was not acting as a journalist” because “everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions” (FAIR.org10/15/16).

Few corporate media journalists took note of a fellow reporter being charged with trespass for doing her job (FAIR.0rg9/15/16). When the prosecutor upped the ante by trying to build a criminal charge based on his perception of a reporter’s point of view, this still did not provoke much attention—let alone outcry—from outlets whose lucrative commercial enterprises are dependent on the protection of the First Amendment.

A handful of journalists at commercial outlets did weigh in to defend Goodman.  Will Bunch, columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News (Philly.com10/16/16), wrote that “the First Amendment was created to prevent exactly this: the jailing of a writer for his or her political point of view.” The LA Times‘ Michael Hiltzik (10/17/16) called out the charges as “an attempt to quash legitimate news reporting.” Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (10/13/16) noted the odd fact that Erickson is an avowed fan of Taibbi’s work—but nonetheless urged him to stop prosecuting Goodman, saying she is “as close to the ideal of what it means to be a journalist as one can get in this business.”

That’s about it for journalists in the corridors of corporate media who defended Democracy Now!‘s reporter. A few others took note of the threat she was under; AP‘s James MacPherson and Blake Nicholson wrote a piece that was picked up by    outlets like the Minneapolis Star TribuneIdaho StatesmanFresno Bee and Arizona Daily StarPublic Radio International‘s The Takeaway (10/17/16) ran a 12-minute interview with Goodman.

A few new media outlets covered the riot charges, like Jezebel (10/15/16) and TechCrunch(10/16/15). Some journalism sites also weighed in, like The Wrap (10/15/16) and Poynter(10/17/16)—though Poynter’s James Warren buried the item under ten other items, heading his one-paragraph report “Post-Pipeline Protest Hoopla,” a headline that may accurately convey the degree of importance corporate journalism accords to First Amendment threats to alternative reporters.

That would explain why people who wanted to be informed about an independent journalist facing criminal charges based on her presumed opinions mostly had to go to overseas outlets (BBC10/17/16 ; Independent10/17/16) or to alternative sources likeThe Nation (10/15/16) and  Common Dreams (10/15/16)………

If there are any regretful reporters at the New York TimesWashington Post, the broadcast or cable news outlets, or any of the other media properties that neglected to cover Goodman’s case when she stood accused of thoughtcrime, they can make up for it by reporting on the still-pending case of documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, who is facing up to 45 years in prison based on three felony counts derived from her reporting on the Dakota Access protests (Reuters10/13/16). The First Amendment you save may be your own. http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/18/charges-dropped-against-amy-goodman-no-thanks-corporate-media

October 19, 2016 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Professor Geraldine Thomas and nuclear scientific misconduct

a-cat-CANThis is part of a very important article, in which Dr Baverstock thoroughly refutes the claims that  Professor Geraldine Thomas’ made in  a BBC  interview, about Fukushima ionising radiation not being much to worry about. The BBC has since withdrawn her statements.

But that hasn’t stopped the South Australian government bringing Thomas out here to spin her stuff, in Thomas, Geraldinesupport of Weatherill’s push for SA as the global nuclear waste dump.


Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view.  The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect

baverstock-dr-keith‘This was quite clearly scientific misconduct’  by Dr Keith Baverstock, Fissiononline 23 Sept 16  .  I will take the BBC interview first. In this interview Thomas questions the whole basis of the Japanese response to the Fukushima accident in terms of its evacuation policy. Is one to imagine that those authorities and the Japanese scientific establishment are so stupid as not to recognise that there is no risk entailing living in those areas?

The internationally agreed public dose limit is 1 mSv per year in addition to approximately 2 mSv per year from natural background radiation.  The single measurement made in that television interview indicate 2.8 microsieverts per hour, which is close to 25 mSv per year. That includes the natural background doses o at that point the dose rate is at least 20 times the public dose limit.

Surely Thomas can recognise that this must demand serious consideration by the appropriate authorities as to the safety of those who would live there? However, to determine the safety or otherwise of living there it would be necessary to do a comprehensive survey of the area.  My guess is that five years after the deposition of the radioactivity there will be a high degree of variability in measurements: some may be less in the measurement made on the programme, but others more and perhaps considerably more. Furthermore, if one were looking at a situation, for example in the UK, one would have to ensure that the most exposed person could not receive more that 1 mSv per annum. Therefore promises arguments that being indoors for example would reduce the dose rate are not valid in the context of the radiological protection of the public in general.

Whether a special dispensation applies when determining the return of evacuees  to their homes is a question that I believe needs to be discussed, because as far as I’m aware the current situation in Japan is unique. Furthermore, we are not talking about a total dose of 20 mSv for someone who returns to live in this village.  In many such villages remedial measures to reduce the dose rate are being taken, but only for the main “living areas”.  Straying beyond these areas could lead to much higher doses, and eating natural produce, mushrooms etc,  to even higher doses.

In the light of these considerations, Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view.  The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect if that is indeed what they did.

Watching the video I am inclined to believe that Thomas is being disingenuous when she says she made a numeric al error when calculating the dose from the interviewer’s measurement. She made no attempt to do any kind of calculation: the figure she cited was something she clearly had in mond at the outset: she was delivering propaganda for the nuclear industry

That in the context in which the interview took place and the way in which she was introduced to the audience, is clearly scientific misconduct.  One must also say here that the ninterviewer must have been, for an experienced journalist, amazingly gullible to have allowed the interview to be broadcast………..   https://issuu.com/fission/docs/fissionline_44

Dr Keith Baverstock led the Radiation Programme at the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for Europe from 1991 to 2003.

September 24, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes, media, spinbuster, UK | 3 Comments

BBC and Science Media Centre (SMC UK) are pro nuclear spruikers

the BBC Science team’s involvement in a shocking display of bad science during the commemorations of the 2011 disaster in 2016 March this year. Even though there was outrage in the scientific community at the Fukushima video, it was some months before the BBC quietly took down the video.

the public that saw the biased Fukushima video were unaware of the wrong and dangerous information that was given.

Thomas, GeraldineThere are many other articles out there that show the BBC defending Geraldine Thomas (BBC Expert) after the complaints came in and rebuffs for that on fissionline magazine and this was also added pressure that forced the BBC to take the Fukushima video down. (Ed note: Geraldine Thomas is currently in Australia, extolling the benefits of the nuclear industry, and downplaying the health effects of ionising radiation) )


Sellafield – Contempt of Parliament – BBC News missed nuke-spruikersSmit. https://europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/sellafield-contempt-of-parliament-bbc-news-missed-it/
by arclight2011part2   The nuclear industry supported press, in rebuffing the BBC Panorama teams claims of safety issues and lies to Parliament, we see some counters to the safety concerns but no response to the well documented evidence of the head of the Sellafield consortium lying to the Parliamentary committee and covering up the grave incident of plutonium release (and its cost) in November 2014.

Tony Price lies to Parliament (from Panorama Documentary) [on original]

The Spokesperson for Sellafield can be seen on the video acting a bit surprised at the questioning and revelations the Panorama reporter revealed. He just denied that any “spin” (ie lies) were said during the Parliamentary committee and that is the last word we have on this explosive revelation of criminality from the nuclear industry.

It is most surprising that the BBC News office did not pick this up as we see on the BBC web site they are fully aware of the issue of contempt of parliamentary procedure;

“….Examples of contempt include giving false evidence to a parliamentary committee, ….The Commons has the power to order anyone who has committed a contempt of Parliament to appear at the Bar of the House and to punish the offender…..”2008 BBC

Since that report was uncovered, the nuclear industry and their PR and government connections have swayed the public and eased their fears. The BBC and Science Media Centre (SMC UK) (Also called Sense About Science) was crucial to doing this and at the same time minimising the environmental and health impacts of the 2011 Fukushima disaster that had caused a huge drop in investor interest in nuclear projects.

So in the last 5 years the BBC has produced many supportive documentaries and educational materials favouring nuclear energy (Since the SMC UK started to receive large corporate funding) . In fact at the end of last year, the BBC science department was involved with promoting Sellafield and largely  ignoring the many problems that existed there.

That was followed up by the BBC Science teams involvement in a shocking display of bad science during the commemorations of the 2011 disaster in 2016 March this year. Even though there was outrage in the scientific community at the Fukushima video, it was some months before the BBC quietly took down the video. Thereby, much of the public that saw the biased Fukushima video were unaware of the wrong and dangerous information that was given. Then just a couple of months ago a high profile visit to Sellafield by dignitaries was to underline the improvements and give Sellafield the all clear. Still other experts tried to combat the BBC and SMC UK PR management of all media regarding nuclear;

“The Ecologist, 12th August 2015 Dr David Lowry
Professor ‘Jim’ Al’Khalili’s ‘Inside Sellafield’ programme was a tour de force of pro-nuclear propaganda, writes David Lowry – understating the severity of accidents, concealing the role of the UK’s nuclear power stations in breeding military plutonium, and giving false reassurance over the unsolved problems of high level nuclear waste…”

The main thing for the BBC, government and nuclear industry was that the nuclear industry was still being perceived as above board and transparent. We saw a similar maneuver after the release of the Panorama Documentary on its You Tube site (Under BBC management orders?). The video was removed after just a few hours of being uploaded and after the link had been shared to an international social media audience. The video was put back up sometime later but after the interest had passed.

Although the media has largely ignored this story many experts have been commenting on the situation in Sellafield and there is a lot of well sourced data that bears the whistleblowers observations and claims (See source links below) . But it is the criminal manipulation of politicians during the Parliamentary committee process that demands our immediate attention. It undermines our Democracy.

Whilst discussing the issue of coverage, by the BBC, of the nuclear industry (with the exception of the excellent undercover investigative abilities of the BBC Panorama team) , I asked an experienced Science Media journalist and Author on how he viewed the BBC`s general coverage of nuclear matters over recent years and he had this to say;

“The BBC is guilty of a journalistic disgrace.” Karl Grossman, Professor of Journalism, State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, USA. [11th September 2016]

Meanwhile in the UK Paul Dorfman (Energy analyst spokesman for main stream UK media) said to me;

”Recent events reveal the ongoing national disgrace that is Sellafield, including the truly appalling state of the historic spent fuel ponds’….”
And Paul Dorfman was able to qualify his point through the excellent investigative work of the Panorama team. [11th September 2016]

In France an Energy systems engineer, well versed in La Hague (The French equivalent to Sellafield) and its impacts said this in response to a discussion on the Panorama revelations;

“….those plants, Sellafield and La Hague, would exterminate the whole world population in under 40 years, because there are tons of plutonium in Sellafield and tons in La Hague adding thousand times more than necessary to exterminate all animals through the world. The biggest aberration of history, the timing bomb for the global extinction, a potential aschimothusia .[“sacrifices” committed by force of a state ] …”  Xavier Nast 11 September 2016

Marianne Birkby confirmed to me the ongoing “legacy” of dangerous safety practices at Sellafield;

“…The state of the Sellafield ponds is described by the BBC as an “historic legacy” but the “legacy” is ongoing with every reactor that continues to burn nuclear fuel whose waste is sent to Sellafield for reprocessing. . The now infamous photographs of the shocking state of the Sellafield ponds that were given to Radiation Free Lakeland by a brave whistleblower are not “historic.” Those shocking photographs are a graphic illustration of the continuing madness of nuclear power….” Marianne Birkby, Founder of Radiation Free Lakeland 11 September 2016

Sources for this article (Not already linked above)

The BBC Panorama You Tube documentary linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ1i3HScYak

Dr Lowry  http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.ie/2016/09/inside-sellafield-and-military.html?spref=tw

Dr Ian Fairlie  response to the Panorama findings and historical summary on Sellafield here http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/bbc-panorama-programme-sellafield/

Critical scientific analysis of the BBC Science departments dangerous and insulting attempts of reporting on Fukushima (And the reason that the BBC had to take down the video, some months later. The comments on this video are enlightening and you can see both pro nuclear and anti nuclear people actually agreeing and making known their complaints to the BBC) – March 2016https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrgdAA5oiIA

Note from writer; There are many other articles out there that show the BBC defending Geraldine Thomas (BBC Expert) after the complaints came in and rebuffs for that on fissionline magazine and this was also added pressure that forced the BBC to take the Fukushima video down.. The whole story of BBC bias in Energy matters is too vast to cover here but I leave you with the above Key words and links (for the researcher) . The truth will out!!  – Shaun McGee

September 23, 2016 Posted by | media, Reference, UK | Leave a comment