Journalism is a noble career that requires the transmission and distribution of truthful knowledge that is founded on evidence and transmitted without prejudice. Journalistic writing certifies the accuracy and validity of facts derived from a systematic review of sources in order to make an argument without jeopardizing the essence of truth. Writing is one of the most critical facets of news reporting. A reporter delivers the information to the public in the form of news after undertaking analysis and creatively writing the text. This essay intends to have an in-depth look at two masterpieces of journalistic fervor viz – Hiroshima, a story in a book, and Grave of the Fireflies, a film written and directed by Isao Takahata. Both pieces represent decent examples of two different forms of journalistic reporting that are globally acclaimed for their demonstration and impact. Such kinds of work offer freedom and bestow success in painting the picture of the powerless and voiceless, who are under consistent physical and psychological oppression, and who desperately need global recognition and attention.
Hiroshima Maiden is a remarkable story that depicts a real picture of the pain and agony of six survivors of atomic bombings of Hiroshima.The words tell the horrific story of the aftermath of Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki episode – the two cities were Atomic bombed by the United States to end the World War-II (Barker, 1985). In the center of the story stand half a dozen people including two women, two doctors, and two religious men who survived the very hell that killed thousands of people. The author implemented hardline journalistic rules to penetrate into the skin of the survivors to depict their physical and psychological breakdown on the paper through the magic of words. It is hard to be objective while covering an emotional and sensitive incident. But, Hiroshima is written creatively without jeopardizing the reality and/or authenticity of the subjects under study. Rodney Barker recorded an account of twenty‑five Japanese women who were disfigured due to the Hiroshima Atomic bombing. These women were transported to the United States for plastic and reconstructive surgery. Barker tracks each of them down by going to Japan and captures their dreadful stories that they experienced throughout this period (Raphael, 2016). The author attempts to capture the sense of loss that still prevails in the minds of the survivors through his words. The people in the story are very strong as they fight with the tragedy that engulfed a huge portion of their people. Their will to live helps them bring their lives back to normalcy. However, the ghosts associated with the bombing refuse to fade away. These miseries are too much to the people at that time when the humanity is lost in black smokes of greed, egoism, and power. Historically, it is one of the greatest tragedy to befall humanity.No other country in Asia faced such a calamity in the history of time. However, the people had hope that in the fullness of time things would restore back to normal.
Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies is an outstanding expression of a living and dying in war. The film portrays the stores of two siblings, Setsuko – a girl and Seita – a boy, who are dead and whose spirits along with a cloud of fireflies recount and narrate the dreadful events through which they went (Takahata, 2002). The film is one of kind that is acclaimed as an anti-war film by most of the critiques. Takahata attempts to illustrate how the United States turned Japan into a hell that even engulfed the innocent children. The story is narrated by the two children who at their young and innocent age got wiped away from the surface of Japan (Hanitzsch, 2004). The film is an adaptation of an autobiography of Nosaka Akiyuki who was a small boy when bombs were dropped in Japan. The film starts with the main character sitting against a pillar, and the film writes a prologue ‘September 21, 1945… that was the night I died’’. This provokes psychological responses, a fete rarely produced by other genres. The main topic here presented is how war changes the true selves of human beings (Stahl, 2010). The only hope for humanity in this story exists in the innocence and kindness of the relationship of the two siblings. The story accounts the clean heart of the children that can bear any filth even the filth of war. This is shown when Seita takes over of the guardianship of a child despite the fact that he was a child himself. It represents a multi-faceted personality of a child who is developing in the shadow of war. At one time, she thinks like a full grown woman. This signifies the end of the war. The strong message presented here makes people think about their attitudes upon seeing others in need. No other genre can report events in such a way during a state of high human need compared to journalistic reporting.
Journalistic reporting have always proved to bring the reality before the global audience. Bound to certain hard-line rules and regulations, the reporting is actually retelling a story so creatively that the reader feels the reality itself. Both works employed different media to express but both are very much moving to put forward one of the biggest crimes done to the humanity once. The portrayal of pain, sufferings, and distress is of high quality, which opens up newer horizons to make its readers rethink their contribution to the humankind. When humanity is faced by such calamities, they resort to doing different things as a way of seeking solace. They remain faithful and believe in their ideologies no matter how tough the situation is. The two masterpieces in one way or the other try to highlight the continuous struggle of the survivors to rebuild their dreams and lives. The information is real and authentic and the authors maintain the objectivity to its highest levels without jeopardizing the actuality. The author attempt to achieve a particular objective of telling the truth creatively (Wolfsfeld, 1997). Both texts evoke different emotions through creative non‑fiction. They cover a vast audience, though their medium varies. Grave of the fireflies is an animated film while Hiroshima is woven through the magic of words.
Journalistic reporting requires objectivity and accuracy along with a sense of creativity to paint the very picture of any event or incident. It is well illustrated in the media that ethics govern the production of reports, news, or information. It is applied in a broad range of field that includes but not limited to the controversial themes such as war or peace journalism and the associated political affairs. Journalists’ reporting has achieved success compared to other genres such as action, adventure, comedy, mystery, horror, and self-help when presenting human fragility and powerlessness. The two examples, Hiroshima and Grave of Fireflies, achieved higher levels of objective reporting by recording real accounts of the Hiroshima incident. Some of the achievements include accuracy and standards of factual reporting, and libel reporting, harm limitation, and psychological responses that encourage reactive reporting. According to the fundamental principle of journalism, reports that are presented should be as accurate and precise, reflecting the actual position and situation.
Barker, R., 1985. The Hiroshima Maidens: A story of courage, compassion, and survival. New York, NY: Viking Press.
Hanitzsch, T., 2004. Journalists as peacekeeping force? Peace journalism and mass communication theory. [Online] Available at: http://cco.regener-online.de/2007_2/pdf/hanitzsch.pdf [Accessed 16/9/2017].
Raphael, C. 2016. How John Hersey’s Hiroshima revealed the horror of the bomb. [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37131894 [Accessed 16/9/2017].
Stahl, D.C., 2010. Victimization And “Response-Ability”: Remembering, Representing, And Working Through Trauma In Grave Of The Fireflies. In David C. Stahl Imag(in)in the War in Japan (161-202). Leiden: Brill.
Takahata, I., 2002. Hotaru No Haka: Grave of the Fireflies. New York, NY: Central Park Media.
Wolfsfeld, G., 1997. Promoting peace through the news media: Some initial lessons from the Oslo peace process. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, vol. 2, no. 4, 52‑70.