In January 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ (MIC’s) study group on problems surrounding broadcasting launched a new subcommittee, reflecting the frequency band system reform advocated in the “second report on regulatory reform promotion,” which was submitted at the end of November, 2017. The gist of the reform is to “consider the effective use of spectrum, looking into the future broadcasting services.”The second report was compiled by the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council of the Cabinet Office. The Council’s intention is to reallocate the spectrum for broadcasting so that the spectrum, which is also useful for communications services, can be used for other purposes, in order to solve problems facing Japan such as super-aging society and depopulation by utilizing IoT and developing 5G services. The debate included conflicting arguments between the members of the Council and experts that want to open up the spectrum used by broadcasters to other players and broadcasters and the MIC that want to continue securing the spectrum to maintain and develop broadcasting services.This article first looks at in detail how “broadcasting” was treated in the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council based on the minutes. Then the author discusses a vision of the future broadcasting services in the context of 4K/8K terrestrial broadcasts and of simulcasting and common platforms. Finally, the author considers the roles of broadcasting by looking ahead into 2040, which the MIC regards as a future milestone year in its prospects.
This article reports the multi-platform strategies taken by 3 public broadcasters, WHYY, WLVT and WYBE in Philadelphia DMA market, USA. WHYY (Ch12) is the main PBS station. WLVT (Ch39) is, located in Bethlehem, a secondary PBS station. WYBE (Ch35) was not a PBS member. The reason why the author selected Philadelphia as research field was that although WYBE had been the predecessor of multi-platform strategy, it made a decision to relinquish being a broadcaster in 2017. It was a very rare case in USA.By taking interviews from managers of those broadcasters as well as local newspaper and researchers of the media industry, etc., the author made it clear about the current status, achievements, challenges, and future prospects of the multi-platform strategy. Interviewees said that “Real-time viewing was over.” “The allocation of management resources is 30% for broadcasting and 70% for digital.” “Inviting internet and SNS experts to the management is very important.” “We should focus on local community matters to improve society and maintain democracy.” It is revealed that public broadcasters aggressively use social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram as the main tool to improve viewership. While their short-term target has been to raise the number of followers, subscribers, and unique users, the broadcasters’ ultimate goal is to enhance the engagement of their local community and people.WYBE made their channel branding as “MiND Independence” in 2008. But they relinquished the bandwidth for the FCC spectrum auction in 2017 and got funds in return. The person in charge explained one of the reasons was that maintenance of broadcasting equipment had become no longer cost-effective, it is only a few percentage of people who watch television over the air. But the cost would be up to half of the revenue. They decided to change organization form from broadcaster to non-profit association to help educational activities in the city.In this article, the author addresses how public media should be in the future and received much wisdom about the management of a public broadcaster.
The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute is a member of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), a cross-national collaboration group conducting surveys on social topics. This paper compares the results of the 2015 ISSP Survey on Work Orientation carried out in 31 countries/regions to examine Japanese people’s attitudes toward work and work stress factors.In Japan, roughly half of men and women respectively find their jobs stressful (“always” and “often” combined); the figures are higher than those in other countries. Regarding characteristics of jobs, while over 80% of respondents in developed countries feel “I can work independently,” those who feel so are 29% for men and 26% for women in Japan. The number of those who find their jobs “interesting” is also lower in Japan, compared to other countries.To study factors contributing to work stress, the author performed a multiple regression analysis, using data of Japan, the United States, Germany, and Norway. The results show that the feeling of “the demands of my job interfere with my family life” is a strong stress factor common to all four countries. In addition, Japanese people are more likely to feel stress by low autonomy of work or awareness that their jobs are uninteresting. For Japanese women, stress is also related to “not having a spouse.”
The morning drama research project of the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducts a series of surveys on NHK’s morning drama serials, or Asadora, which have been attracting more and more viewership in recent years, in order to investigate viewing behaviors of the audience and factors for the popularity of the dramas. The past four surveys featured Mare, Asa ga kita, Toto-Nee-chan, and Beppin-san. This is the fifth survey focusing on Hiyokko. The satisfaction level for Hiyokko was 85%, in the same range as Toto-Nee-chan. The drama’s “meticulous portrayal of characters” resonated with many viewers, and the fact that “all of the characters were good in nature” made many people enjoy the program with peace of mind. On top of this, the feel-good ending of the drama, with each character finding happiness at the end, led to a high valuation at the final stage. Meanwhile, the ending was unpredictable for viewers because Hiyokko featured an original heroine, modeling after no one, for the first time in four seasons, and it was a conversation-based, slow paced drama. Because of these aspects, viewers presumably enjoyed the story by taking a short-term perspective, relishing daily episodes or characters’ moves, rather than taking a long-term perspective to savor the overall storyline. It is also observed that those who usually watched TV dramas from a long-term perspective flexibly adapted to the style of Hiyokko by changing their focuses of interest and occasionally taking a short-term perspective to appreciate the drama.