Radio France to withdraw reporters from Japan over radiation concerns

Radio France has decided to withdraw reporters that are covering Japan’s
earthquake because of concerns over radiation from a series of nuclear
accidents, Kyodo reports.

state-run radio station sent seven reporters and technical staffers to
report on the quake and tsunami and accidents at the Fucushima No. 1
nuclear power plant. One correspondant will remain in Japan, with
support available if he decides to leave.

Reporters Without
Borders (RWB) published a statement on their website recommending that
journalists bound for Japan check out their Handbook for Journalists, a guidebook for journalists in major humanitarian disasters.

recommends that foreign journalists contact their own country’s foreign
ministry before travelling to the disaster areas in order to get
information about the risks and how to reduce them.

RWB listed the BBC, French Cross and the Google Crisis Response site as sufficient resources on minimizing the risks of radiation exposure.

The Dart Center, a resource for journalists who cover violence, advises
journalists to purchase enough potassium iodine capsules for
five-to-ten people for a month from pharmacies in their home countries.

extra capsules are needed for your translators and drives, as well as a
good-will gesture to your local sources,” the statement said.

“Your thyroid gland absorbs iodine, and these pills will help to block radioactive iodine-131.”

Center also suggested that reporters pick up Imodium for diarrhea and
“nasal inhalants” such as Vicks VapoRub to mask the stench of corpses,
which can have a negative effect on morale.