Talk about a zeitgeist! Just as the US Congress votes on defunding the Corporate for Public Broadcasting, comes this rather extraordinary video. It shows ongoing screen images of Japan's six major broadcasters as the earthquake hit the country. NHK (seen on the upper left) is the first to start airing news about the quake and Tsunami warnings (at 13 seconds, on this vid). They beat the other stations with the headlines by minutes, which is huge in the news world and as we've seen in video footage, a few minutes warning is also huge in escaping a tsunami.
I know this won't change the mind of anyone seeking to dismantle public broadcasting network, especially since NPR here long ago lost any beat news function, but it does show what we could have if we properly funded and organized the public networks.
BTW - from the NHK site:
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Japan’s sole public broadcaster, introduced a radio service in 1925 and a television service in 1953. NHK is financed by the receiving fee paid by each household that owns a television set. This system enables the Corporation to maintain independence from any governmental and private organization, and ensures that the opinions of viewers and listeners are assigned top priority.
Via Boing Boing and TimeOutTokyo