About: JapanFocus supposes itself to be a peer-reviewed academic journal, and is usually treated as such. However, they have no page outlining their submission standards. Normally, they only publish from accredited academics but seem to have made an exception for Fukushima.
- Reporter: Mariko Segawa
- Date: 2011-04-18
- Score: 7
- Link to Article: http://japanfocus.org/-Makiko-Segawa/3516
- Reporting faults and errors: Tondemonai translation combined with hair-raising, evidence-free speculation
- Description: Linking to a page which calls for media organizations to suppress "groundless and baseless false rumors" (of which there are many documented examples), Ms. Segawa somehow derives a conspiracy ("Now the Japanese government has moved to crack down on independent reportage and criticism of the government’s policies in the wake of the disaster by deciding what citizens may or may not talk about in public").
Never mind that this is an entirely voluntary program. The Japanese government says that it will send out alerts of information that "violates laws" (i.e. scams) "or public order" (i.e. chain mail scares like the "toxic rain" story), asking telecom providers to act on their own judgement to suppress them. From this, Ms. Segawa comes up with the absurd, paranoiac translation "illegal information", which through further hyperbole becomes "independent reportage". There is no evidence for either of these readings. In fact there are plenty of independent reporters investigating the Fukushima story, and they were patrolling the evacuation zone until recently!
- Slashdot reported this translation as proof of censorship despite any evidence whatsoever.
- JPquake Editor: AHM