Foreign journalists charged with covering Japan’s devastating March 2011 disasters faced an enormous challenge: sensitively expressing the human tragedy while accurately assessing the vast amount of real-time data on the crisis.

Some failed, as seen by the wildly inaccurate reports broadcast in certain overseas media, including a supposed nuclear reactor in the heart of Tokyo and a “mass exodus” from the capital. But many succeeded where the local media hesitated, particularly those journalists objective enough to draw criticism from both sides of the nuclear debate.

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