The Japan disaster story has also become a local one here in Southern California, given the number of Japanese expats and persons of Japanese ancestry in the region. What's more, the slight possibility of a tsunami -- and now, radiation -- coming to our shores (again, highly unlikely) has forced us all to pay attention. (As if the stunning images coming out of the country weren't reason enough.)
That's probably why several local TV stations have sent crews to the country in recent days. It hasn't been an easy trip -- KTLA's Frank Buckley wrote that it took 27 hours to get into the country from Los Angeles.
Here's a partial list (likely to be updated) of local TV and L.A. Times staffers now reporting within Japan:
KNBC 4: Reporter Conan Nolan, photographer Bobbie Eng, photojournalist Jorge Diaz
KTLA 5: Reporter Frank Buckley, producer Toni Molle, photographer Michael McGregor (UPDATE: They've returned. See below)
KABC 7: Reporter David Ono
(KTTV 11 currently doesn't have a crew in Japan. We're still waiting to hear back from the KCBS 2/KCAL 9 duopoly.)
And here are the Los Angeles Times staffers currently in Japan:
Barbara Demick – Beijing Bureau Chief
Mark Magnier – New Delhi Bureau Chief
Laura King – Baghdad Bureau Chief
Carolyn Cole – Photographer, based in NYC
Brian Vander Brug – Photographer, based in LA
There’s also a stringer, Kenji Hall, covering the situation in Japan.
The newspaper's Japan coverage is being aggregated here.
Here's what Buckley wrote on his blog on Sunday:
As some of you know, my mother is Japanese and I lived here for a number of years as a boy. I speak Japanese well enough to get us from here to there. I feel close to Japan and the Japanese people so this story has meaning to me. In fact, I have family here and friends. Fortunately, they're all OK. That's obviously not the case for thousands of others and we'll do our best to tell their stories.
UPDATE: With the radiation scare on the rise in Japan, Buckley has returned home. LA Observed pointed to Buckley's tweet:
Reluctantly leaving Japan after Morning News Wed.Too many questions about radiation. Don't think there's a huge risk but I'm not an expert.