2017 年 91 巻 p. 51-63
This paper aims to consider the role of local journalism from the positionality
of Okinawan newspapers concerning what is called “Okinawa Problem”
（Okinawa-mondai,）, especially problems related to the U.S. military base in
When a U.S. military helicopter crashed over Okinawa International University
in the summer of 2004, the accident was reported as a news event with
important and contrasting differences between the articles of mainland media
and Okinawan media. It can be considered that these differences were generated
by their different standards of news values and the differences in the positionality
of the event as news media.
In this paper, I try to explain the positionality and the role of Okinawan
local newspapers, namely Ryukyu Simpo and Okinawa Times, in taking up the
news event of the rape and murder of a woman by a U.S. military contractor
that occurred in the spring of 2016, and by analyzing the news reports, special
features, and editorials relating to the Okinawa mass protest rallies on June 19
against the vicious crime.
Results of my research show that both newspapers are positioned not only
as “agents” embodying and reflecting “the will of the people,” the sentiments
and thoughts of Okinawan people who have been forced to bear the heavy burden
of U.S. military bases, but also as “parties involved” standing on the same
side as the Okinawan people or sitting close together, by always reporting baserelated
problems like accidents, crimes, noise pollution, and environmental
destruction that affect their living space.