Mormon Media Observer: Mormon Media Observer: Fear and Fukushima — a journalism of a toxic, anxious culture

Published: Monday, March 21 2011 4:30 a.m. MDT

Furthermore, journalism ethics suggest that reporters should sound the warning to citizens, so journalists are only being professional when they tell the long details of a story like this.

Beyond that, powerful governmental and other interests hype fear for their own purposes say to pass important legislation or to grow budgets, not realizing the harmful effects they may be creating on citizens. It was fear in some senses that led to the creation of government bureaus like the EPA and Homeland Security. Many careers were made that way. Fear abetted this creation of vast government agencies that have an implied, powerful interest to continue to stoke fear, even when those same agencies mean well. Companies profit from fear of disease and harm, too.

To combat fear, people must do as has been suggested: think, pray, exercise, sleep, eat well, work hard and pray some more. All of those can help us gradually subdue some of the demons that spring up in our culture of fear.

Lane Williams teaches journalism and communication at BYU-Idaho. He is a former journalist whose scholarly interests include Mormon portrayals in the media, media and religion, and religion and politics.

As the Mormon Media Observer, Lane is interested in hearing your ideas for stories at lanedwilliams@gmail.com.

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