“The Heavy Rain Event of July 2017 in Kyushu Hokubu” (torrential rain in Northern Kyushu) involved severe rain caused by mesoscale lines of precipitation that kept falling over the same region between Fukuoka and Oita Prefectures. Small and medium sized rivers in hilly and mountainous areas flooded in a short amount of time. Cities and villages along the basin were hit by inundation and sediment disasters, and 42 people were dead or missing in Fukuoka and Oita Prefectures. The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducted a public opinion survey of 2,000 male and female residents (aged 20 and older) of disaster-affected Asakura City and Toho Village of Fukuoka and Hita City of Oita. Based on the survey results and on-the-ground research, this paper examines issues surrounding evacuation and information communication.Of the entire respondents, the percentages of residents who “evacuated” to safe places such as evacuation areas were 20% in Asakura City, 29% in Toho Village, and 21% in Hita City. It is revealed what caused them to “evacuate” was not “information” such as evacuation advisory, but abnormal phenomena represented by torrential rain and raised water level in the river. Around half of evacuees moved to places other than evacuation areas designated by local governments. Many evacuees had to take flooded roads, and some could not reach the designated evaluation areas.The residents’ main sources for “information for severe weather preparation” including “sediment disaster alert” and “information about a record-breaking deluge in a short period,” or evacuation information such as “evacuation advisory” and “evacuation instruction (emergency)” were “NHK TV broadcasts” and “emails from the government.” As disaster information sources are shifting to “email” and other internet media, it is time for broadcasters to review how “TV and radio” should communicate disaster prevention and reduction information.
The Public Opinion Survey on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a longitudinal survey series that has been conducted since 2016 to clarify public interests in the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics as well as their expectations for broadcast coverage of them. This paper reports the findings from the third survey held in March right after the completion of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.The survey found 78 per cent of the respondents were interested (very much” or “somewhat”) in the coming Tokyo Olympics, and 56 per cent in the Paralympics. As to the sports they “want to see the most” in the Tokyo Olympics, “gymnastics artistic” and “athletics” were ranked high, with more than 60 per cent wanting to watch them. Among broadcasting services, those who expect for “ultrahigh definition and hyper reality (4K/8K)” have increased to from the second survey (34% to 44%).Those who think preparation for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is “going well” have substantially increased from the previous two surveys (from 18 to 35 to 49%). Accordingly, those anxious about the preparation have decreased for many specific items, but, compared to the first survey, more people were anxious about “reception of foreign tourists” (from 30 to 44%) and “nurturing volunteers” (from 18 to 25%).Regarding the TV viewing frequency of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, 48 per cent watched the Olympics “almost every day,” and 19 per cent did so for the Paralympics, both of which remained at almost the same level as the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For PyeongChang, the most watched coverage was “figure skating” (79%). Compared to the responses to the second survey’s question on “sports you want to watch,” those who actually watched them largely increased for sports in which Japanese athletes performed successfully, such as “figure skating” (from 68 to 79%), “speed skating” (from 37 to 70%) and “curling” (from 25 to 70%). The percentage of those who used the internet services provided by broadcasters was 19 per cent, an increase from 16 per cent in the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
The Paralympic Games is expected to serve as a trigger to realize an inclusive society. Then, how do people with impairments watch and perceive its TV coverage?The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducted a web survey of people with an impairment from March through June 2018 to study their viewing of the Paralympic Games, influence of the Paralympics TV coverage, and evaluations of “universal broadcasting,” such as subtitles, voice explanations, and sign language broadcasts.The survey aimed at people with impairments as a whole including people with intellectual and mental impairments. This article is the excerpt of the survey results, focusing on people with three types of impairments: people with physical impairments—most represented population in the Paralympic Games—and people with visual or hearing impairments—expected main users of universal broadcasting. Along with their raw opinions reflected in the responses to open-ended questions and interviews, the authors analyzed the survey results to explore the clues to the production of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics coverage and to what the media can and should do to realize an inclusive society.As the respondents were limited to those who could answer online, the survey results are not necessary representative. However, we believe the survey is meaningful for us broadcasters because there were no prior examples in the same type of surveys regarding the Paralympics broadcasts.In particular, how people with impairments use and evaluate the media and universal broadcasting will help improve information accessibility, including digital media use, for people with impairments, and various opinions and pros and cons about the Paralympics broadcasts are thought-provoking for the media that seek the way to contribute to achieving an inclusive society.
With the diffusion of social media, misinformation and false information spread rapidly and across an extensive area. This paper discusses how the media outlets should tackle with this problem to curb those information scatterings. Through examination and verification, the author reached the following conclusions.[Target of scattering control]Rumors, hoaxes, and fake news quickly spread, affected by socio-psychological elements such as anxiety and fear, at a time of emergency represented by major disasters, some of which may endanger public safety, and therefore become a target of counter-news.[Significance of resorting to counter-news]According to preceding studies, rumors spread at a time of emergency when social unrest mounts and the media can only vaguely explain the situation. In that case the media outlets need to issue counter-news in order to eliminate ambiguity, if only a little.[Actual case of scattering]When the June 2018 Earthquake in the Northern Osaka Prefecture occurred, a rumor that “Keihan train has derailed” scattered around. Tracking Twitters posts, you can see the initial tweets were “I thought the train would derail.” After a little while, questions “Has it derailed?” and conjectures “I hear Keihan has derailed” increased. Then, tweets confidently stating that “Keihan has derailed” appeared.[What is required in the age of post-truth politics?]Misinformation and false information can be categorized into two groups: one is “acute” or “semi-acute” information that affects people’s lives and safety and its scattering should be promptly suppressed, and the other is “chronic” information that gradually erodes sound formation of public opinion. To issue counter-news against the latter, the public good of the counter-news must be convincing enough.