Imagine my horror when I read this subtopic header on the home page, right below a main caption of "Report: 9,500 missing in one town":
"Pump system caused nuclear blast"Visions of mushroom clouds sprang immediately to my mind. I mean, there's only one thing that "nuclear blast" can mean, right?
I clicked through to the story, not at all sure I really wanted to know what happened. Here's the title of the article:
"Japanese official says pumping system caused nuclear plant blast"Okay...not quite so horrified now. The article goes on to clarify further:
"An explosion at an earthquake-struck nuclear plant was not caused by damage to the nuclear reactor but by a pumping system that failed as crews tried to being the reactor's temperature down..."Quite a bit of difference between that first teaser line and the actual situation, don't you think?
Other Internet sites did a little bit better at not throwing their readers into a panic. AOL's headline for the event:
"Nuclear Plant Explosion in Japan"From Yahoo!:
"Explosion rocks Japan nuclear plant"From MSNBC:
"Blast Rips Quake-Hit Japan Nuke Plant; Radiation Said to be Lower"And from the New York Times:
"Radiation Leaks After Explosion at Quake-Damaged Nuclear Plant"None of these headlines is nearly as alarming as the words "nuclear blast" in my opinion (although MSNBC certainly seems to be going for the hard-core abduction of readers' attention).
Journalists: Please think a little more critically before you post. Scaring your readers is not the best way to get their heart rates going first thing in the morning.