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March 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Japan’s NHK network has provided gripping coverage of the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country early on (Friday). Throughout the day, NHK tracked the devastating progress of the deluge, showing the massive tidal wave carrying boats onto farmlands, sweeping up homes and cars — and people — and carrying them away. The television network not only provided footage to U.S. broadcast and cable-TV networks, but also offered a free app via Apple’s iTunes store that allowed iPhone and iPad users to view the developments live or watch earlier coverage. () Some Western outlets, including CNN in the U.S. and Britain’s Sky News and BBC News, devoted virtually their entire programming to the disaster. But Time magazine TV critic James Poniewozik criticized MSNBC for taking a casual ABC announced at midday that it plans to air a special 20/20 edition Friday night, Disaster in the Pacific at 10:00 p.m. tonight. Individuals living in Japan uploaded footage taken with mobile phones and Flip video cameras to YouTube and Facebook.

UPDATE: The New York Times observed on is website late Friday that none of the major broadcast networks had a full-time correspondent in Japan at the time of the disaster and were therefore forced to depend on interviews via Skype video with U.S. workers and tourists. The networks are effectively parachuting reporters and crews into the country now, the newspaper said, “but that means there is a roughly 24-hour lag time in the coverage. ” With a six-person bureau, CNN had the “heftiest presence” in Tokyo at the time of the disaster the Times said.