Seven years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011. On the wake of the disaster, NHK committed all-out effort to disaster reports. Consequently, plenty of materials such as reporters’ notes and photos, as well as requests and opinions from disaster survivors, are left to each station in Tohoku and those involved in the disaster coverage at NHK. These materials are valuable “record” and “memory” of how the unprecedented catastrophe was broadcast.NHK launched a cross-organizational “initiative for archiving disaster-coverage materials” in autumn 2015 to collect materials that would be easily to be scattered and lost or disposed of in the course of daily reporting or broadcasting tasks. The 162 pieces of materials collected were organized and systemized by professional archivists.Part of the materials were opened to the public from March to September 2017 at the NHK Museum of Broadcasting located in Minato-ku, Tokyo as a special exhibition themed “Great East Japan Earthquake: To Keep Passing Down the Experience.” A questionnaire conducted at the venue shows that “videos capturing the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake” and “photos of affected areas and reporters and camera persons’ notes” attracted visitors’ attention, and respondents’ requests included making the exhibition a regular one and holding the exhibition across Japan.This project of collecting, organizing, and opening the reporting and broadcasting records on a large-scale disaster is an unprecedented experience even at NHK. This article reviews the series of efforts, from collecting and archiving materials to exhibiting, and presents a vision for future utilization of the materials.
This paper offers a method of studying TV documentaries: by regarding a documentary as a result of producers’ giving meaning to the reality of what they aimed to report, examining how much the text of a TV documentary is “reality-driven” or “producer-driven,” converting each area of text into data, and finally apprehend the text by interpreting the data. To be more precise, the author shows how images and audio composing the text were converted into the data based on “scene/non-scene” and “language/non-language” indices and how the data was analyzed to apprehend the text content multimodally. Along with this, using the above method, the paper examines why Nihon no sugao: Nihon-jin to Jirocho (Japan Unmasked: the Japanese and Jirocho) (1958)—the very first hit program in Japanese TV documentary history—became such a big hit.
Sports announcer Norizo Matsuuchi’s baseball play-by-play commentaries in a dramatic kodan storytelling style became extremely popular among the Japanese public around 1930. This article analyzes anew the background to the popularity by taking a different approach from preceding studies.First, the author looks at longitudinal changes in shares of broadcast programs by genre such as “news,” “cultural,” and “entertainment.” Then, the article reports the fact that the period when the share of “entertainment” declined and the heyday of this dramatic play-by-play announcement overlapped, based on which the author explores reasons for the popularity from the following three perspectives.1. Radio. listenersListeners wanted “entertainment,” but there were not enough programs in this genre. Insufficient “entertainment” left the listeners dissatisfied.2. Norizo Matsuuchi. It is highly possible that the above factor prompted Matsuuchi, who had always been prioritizing listeners’ preference, to employ kodan—Japanese entertainment art of storytelling—in his baseball commentaries.3. Japan Broadcasting Corporation. The Japan Broadcasting Corporation was presumably aware that one of the factors for slower growth of radio listeners, compared to overseas counterparts, was that a limited number of “entertainment” programs were available, but given the broadcaster’s principle of serving as a “public institution,” it could not increase “entertainment” programs with no reasonable grounds. It was then that Matsuuchi’s dramatic play-by-play hit the scene, and it is likely that the broadcaster decided to take a stance of admitting it although those commentaries were not necessarily objective.As preceding studies have pointed out, the kodan style was familiar to the Japanese public and was undoubtedly received well by a broad range of radio listeners. The author adds the above three perspectives to this conventional view in an attempt to interpret the birth and continuance of the kodan style play-by-play more profoundly and identify the background to its huge popularity—how the commentaries captivated conventional baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike—more clearly.
The Public Opinion Survey on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a longitudinal survey series aiming at grasping the changes in public interests in and values on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to obtain basic data for attaining the world’s highest-standard broadcasting and related services for the 2020 coverage. This paper reports the findings from the second survey.The majority of the respondents (87%) are happy about (“happy” and “somewhat happy” combined) Tokyo’s hosting the Olympics and Paralympics. Those interested (“very much” or “somewhat”) in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics accounted for 80%, which is high, but compared to the survey conducted immediately after the Rio 2016 Olympics, “very much” decreased from 34% to 27%. Regarding what they are particularly interested in, the most cited answer was “successful performance of Japanese athletes and teams” (78%), which exceeded “world’s best standard sport competitions” (42%) and “medal count for each country/region” (17%).Those interested in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics made up 61%. To a question on the aspects that should communicated to the public, the highest percentage of respondents said the Paralympics “should be purely treated as a sports event” (39%), up from the previous year (37%) while 5% responded that it “should be presented with a focus on the welfare for people with an impairment.” Among the images of para sports, “touching” was the highest (63%). In regards to people who found it “touching,” we compiled the data according to their para-sport viewing experiences. As a result, 82% answered “I have seen televised para-sport competitions,” followed by “I have seen para sports on TV programs other than news or sports” (77%) and “I have seen para sports covered in TV news” (70%). While these figures are high, those who “have never seen para sports on TV” remained at 38%, which shows the more viewing experience, the better understanding of para sports.Regarding expected broadcasting services, requests for broadcasting services for other platforms, especially for smartphones, have increased from last year such as “catch-up services” (from 40% to 44%) and “simulcasting of TV coverage on the internet” (from 29% to 38%).