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japan & the new york times via dominique browning

Along with the rest of the world I’ve been watching the news from Japan unfold with horrified fascination. Japan is such a near neighbor, and there is so much commerce and exchange that it’s hard not to feel it personally. ¬†This morning our local NPR station informed that the Washington coast experienced a huge tsunami after an earthquake larger than the one that hit Japan, around 1700. I grew up in Berkeley, where the history of the 1906 earthquake and fire felt very near. For all of these reasons I have been following the news closely, chiefly through the New York Times online.

Dominique Browning in her wonderful blog Slow Love Life has posted several stories about the quake and its aftermath. Today’s is a salute to the NYT and its coverage. She collects the meaningful links so nicely that I recommend reading the complete post on her blog, but here is an excerpt:

“Back to Japan, but to make a point about newspapers, or more accurately, news organizations. I’ve been an editor most of my life, so I often find myself watching how I behave, as a reader, during a crisis such as the one unfolding in Japan. Where do I turn for information? What is effective? What kinds of decisions are being made by editors?

I haven’t bought a single newspaper since the tsunami, because the news is moving so rapidly that it is dated by the time it is printed. But I’m online every hour, watching developments. And I am amazed–and deeply grateful for–the ingenuity of editors and artists at The New York Times. One graphic display gave me an instant education in how a nuclear reactor works, and what happens during a meltdown. It is vivid, dynamic, and clear. Please take a look; the more we know about these things, the more informed we are as citizens in the ongoing debate about nuclear energy. Most of us don’t realize how much electricity we are already getting from nuclear plants.”

Slow Love Life is well worth following – I thank my pal Dana Sullivan for recommending it.

2 Comments

  1. Tina, I did not hear the NPR article but it was a lot more than a tsunami that hit here in 1700! The quake was HERE too. It is estimated to have been a 9.2 quake. Carbon dating and other Paleoseismology and Neotectonics research say the south part of Bainbridge Island rose 20 feet in 3 seconds. Can you imagine the waves in Puget Sound? We are most likely to get seiching which is a standing wave that happens in a “closed” body of water. There is quite a bit of information about the 1700 Cascadia Earthquake out on the web and Brian Atwater, a geologist at the UW wrote a book called the Orphan Tsunami of 1700. (That is the name Japan gave the tsunami that hit them from this Washington earthquake.)

  2. Thanks for this elaboration, Viv. It’s a big thing to get your mind around.

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