Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Japanese media should be open and transparent by Kaori K.

             In our time, we tend to be perplexed. Today, there is a surfeit of information about the ways of the world. So, we have to choose reliable information by ourselves. We usually use the internet, television and radio to get information. SNS is growing quickly. For instance, Twitter and Facebook are very popular. Journalism, what the reporting by media in general is called, is a way of getting reliable information for us. Now, confidence in journalism has declined in Japan. After the big earthquake came in 2011, Japanese people became less reliant   Japanese media agencies. In my opinion, Japanese journalism should be open and transparent, and should report unbiased facts. There are two main reasons for this. First, the Japanese media is closed and unfair. Second, people have the right to know, so journalism must report unbiased facts.
              First, Japanese journalism is famous for the “closed media” in the world.
There is the “Kisha club” in Japanese journalism. Reporters without Borders, RWB, pointed out the danger of the “Kisha club”. The “Kisha club” is a Japanese news gathering association.  They belong to national papers or national televisionstations. They tend to write same articles, they don’t have diversity. Freelance journalists can’t join this organization. Press conferences in Japan are mostly sponsored by the “Kisha club”.  Freelance journalists and foreign journalists can’t attend press conferences sponsored by the “Kisha club”, so they can’t get information from the press conferences. Some freelance journalists  have claimed this is unfair. Japanese journalism is homogeneous. It is not good for people. According to an article entitled, “EU acts to free Japanese media”on the Web site of newspaper, guardians, The European Union's warnings of mad cow disease were not reported until the first case was revealed in September 2001. Also, EU is afraid of foreign journalists can’t join the press conference in Japan. Many countries are worried about Japanese media and journalism.
              Second, Japanese journalist should report unbiased facts. In 2011, the big earthquake occurred in the east of Japan. The nuclear electric power generation plant in Fukushima was destroyed, and the meltdown happened. This was serious, Japanese people were in the dangerous situation. At that time, the Japanese government and media didn’t talk about and report the meltdown. Only one journalist reported that the meltdown happened.  The foreign media said that meltdown may happen, too. Only the Japanese media didn’t report about it. Finally, Japanese government and media admitted the reality that meltdown happened after earthquake occurred soon. According to an article entitled, “Meltdown happened 3.11,2011 on the Web site of the Yomiuri Online, Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO, guessed by the data, meltdown happened 3.11,2011. Japanese people were tricked by the Japanese government and media. Although, the aim of journalism is tell unbiased facts to people, the Japanese journalism don’t do. Journalism is not the business, it is justice.
              To conclude, Japanese journalism must change. Japanese journalism must be open and transparent. Freelance and foreign journalists should be able to research and report as journalists in the “Kisha club”. Japanese journalism must be a champion of justice.

・The guardian. EU acts to free Japanese media. Retrieved February 15,2013. From The guardian Web site:
・YOMIURI ONLINE, Meltdown happened 3.11,2011. Retrieved February 15,2013. From YOMIURI ONLINE Web site:


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