Mayu Nagumo (16) and Sara Tomizawa (16), CE youth journalists, interviewed nearly 30 people from around the world during the 6th International Youth Media Summit held in Belgrade from August 1-12, 2011 in regard to The Great East Japan Earthquake. Both youth journalists experienced first hand the impact in Japan and were interested to find out the reactions of those from other countries. The majority interviewed was youth participants in the Summit and came from a variety of countries including America, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Macedonia, Nigeria, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey. A summary of the interviews follows the questions below.
How did you first hear about the earthquake? Through what media?
Nearly all the interviewees stated the internet followed by television. Many used social network sites to follow the news once hearing about the earthquake and tsunami. Basically multiple forms of media were involved.
How did your country report the news?
Once again nearly all the respondents used terminology such as disaster, devastating, catastrophic event followed by dangers and risks.
When did you talk about the news with your family and friends?
All the interviewees except one discussed it immediately with their families whether in-person or via telephone or computer. Many families were concerned about the Japanese and also their own families that lived near nuclear power plants in other countries.
What do you know about the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident?
Many realized how serious the situation was, that the Japanese government did not seem to be releasing all available information, and that the situation was still not stable at the time of our interviews.
Do you think that nuclear power plants should be abolished?
Although many respondents answered a resounding yes, quite a few people felt it was a difficult question to answer. The general belief was that although nuclear power plants are a danger to the environment, they are an important source of power. Until viable alternative sources are available, nuclear power plants are inevitable.
What new energy sources will we see in the future?
Mainly people mentioned existing energy sources that are not used today such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydro-power rather than new types of energy.