I can understand why TV newscasts would do such a thing (for those living under a rock, they’ve tried to present it as a disaster of epic proportions, though in reality it was just a minor footnote to the true disaster of the earthquake and tsunami), and though I haven’t seen many newspapers on the subject, I suspect they’re just as bad. The reason, summed up to one word: ratings.
News flash for you, newscasters: deliberately misrepresenting the news like that isn’t going to get you more viewers in the long run. There’s a reason that people are increasingly getting their news from sources like the Internet, and this will just serve to drive them away faster.
Maybe short-term ratings boosts are all they can hope for these days? If so, I’d definitely be shorting stock in TV newscasters.