The series “Exploring the Broadcasting Institution Based on Testimonies” explores the formation process of Japan’s broadcasting institution and the relations between the institution and management, which have not been fully clarified, from testimonies of relevant persons. In Part I, the authors interviewed Prof. Hiroshi Shiono, Professor Emeritus, the University of Tokyo, who conducted systematic research on broadcasting legislation for a long time as a scholar of administrative law.
After the end of World War II, along with the development of commercial broadcasting, problems pertaining to Japan’s broadcasting institution became surfaced. Shiono was invited to NHK’s Study Group on Broadcasting Legislation when it was established in 1963 and started research on broadcast-related laws on full scale. His statement shows that commercial broadcasters strongly requested to overhaul the broadcasting institution at the time and that the discussion in the Study Group was focused on the possible introduction of operational license and revision of receiving fee usage. In particular, NHK developed a sense of crisis regarding the future direction of receiving fee system, which was urged the broadcaster to theoretically examine the system.We learnt from Prof. Shino’s testimony that the Study Group on Broadcasting Legislation had performed an important function for NHK to organizing its thoughts, and jurists, especially scholars of administrative law, assumed a leading role. The proposals of the Study Group, such as ensuring the dual broadcasting institution consisting of NHK and commercial broadcasters and limiting the usage of receiving fee to NHK’s operation, were reflected in subsequent institutional reviews.Prof. Shiono’s testimony centers on discussions held in the 1960s, which left stark impression on him. It implies that extremely important considerations were made over this period of time. His remarks highlight that what was discussed during this period had a huge impact on the ensuing formation of a framework for Japan’s broadcasting institution.
“Children and media” has been a theme of high interest all through the ages, among which this paper focuses on research and surveys conducted in Japan since 2000, when the full spread of the internet started effecting various changes in children’s lives, to summarize and analyze the research trend over this time period. The author specifically looked into diverse research, such as surveys on children’s media contact in their daily lives, panel studies and experimental studies aiming at elucidating media impact on children, and studies on children’s learning and media usage, by dividing the studies according to the subject: “children in elementary school and above” and “infants and preschoolers.”Consequently, the following aspects were found as key characteristics of the “media and children research” conducted during this period: (1) strong interest in the usage of smartphones, tablet terminals, and other newly-emerged media devices, (2) increased interest in research on infants and preschoolers, (3) more emphasis on panel studies, (4) more attention paid not only to quantitative elements but also to qualitative elements such as what is delivered and portrayed in TV programs and online content when discussing the impact of children’s media contact, and (5) more recognition of the importance of forming a framework that can reflect the research findings in classroom, childcare, and educating parents on media use.The trend implicates that these studies have been developed to address issues emerged by the end of the 1990s, but to achieve further development, it is important to continue discussing research frameworks, develop research methods, and make various efforts to secure and improve research environment, and to delve deeper into this theme, it is also vital for the researchers to always
take account of different perspectives on “children” and try to enrich their own research through exchanges and discussions with other researchers in diverse fields.
The 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake that occurred on November 9th last year halted the power supply across Hokkaido, and a maximum of approx.2.95 million households suffered from power outage. The quake disrupted television viewing in the area as well as telephone and internet connections. In order to study the residents’ media usage on the day of the quake, NHK conducted an internet survey of residents throughout Hokkaido. The findings of the survey include the following.
- Among devises or terminals the residents managed to use on the day of the quake, “radio” was most cited while 68% could not use “television.” As to online communication, 40% responded that the internet was accessible from right after the earthquake trough early morning (around 6 a.m.), but the figure dropped to the 20 percent range after that time.
- The most used media for acquiring earthquake-related information was “NHK radio” from right after the earthquake trough early morning (around 6 a.m.), but the figure gradually dropped from morning to midnight. Meanwhile, “word of mouth from family members or friends” increased.
- Regarding why many people turned to radio, responses such as “information on radio is trustworthy” and “I thought I could get information I needed from radio” show their appreciation for radio content, but at the same time, a notable number of people responded “there was no other way” and “I wanted to save electricity or battery power.”
- Residents used different sorts of media—radio, portal sites, apps, social media, etc.—depending on the types of information they wanted.
- To prepare for future large-scale disasters, it will be necessary to secure media functions at the time of disaster and strengthen information delivery capacity that can meet the information needs of disaster-affected individuals.
This paper analyses rumors spread at the 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake based on Twitter posts to examine how to curb the spread of rumors in the age of social media. The results of the analysis and examination include the follows.
- The basic of preventing rumors from going viral is said to be providing accurate reports to reduce the ambiguity of information. NHK provided various types of content with disaster-related information through its websites and smartphone apps and used Twitter and a two-dimensional barcode to guide the users to them. Online content that allows users to constantly search for text and graphic information can supplement radio broadcasts and eliminate the ambiguity of the information.
-There were two types of rumors on Twitter: (1) tweets that initially used a conjectural expression “rashii” (“I heard” or “it seems like”) that was later replaced with more assertive tones such as “suru” (“it is” or “it tuned out”) and (2) tweets that did not change the tone. Some tweets on recurrence of disaster explosively spread like wildfire. As these tweets multiplied, comments such as “I learnt it through LINE” gradually appeared.
- Countering information dispelling rumors turned out to be effective to stop rumors from spreading. The speed of the spread of counter-rumor tweets varied depending on the original rumor, and if a rumor accompanied a sense of fear, it was faster for the counter-rumor messages to disseminate.
- Rumors explosively spread on social media. The media organizations must promptly take measures to combat them, but rumors anticipating future possibilities are hard to deal with, and measures to dispel them are likely to become complicated. Using the term “false rumor” is said to have an immediate effect to prevent rumors from spreading, but it may completely dismiss unconfirmed rumors or label even a good faith discourse as a lie.
The first installment saw how Fuji Tada and Mitoji Nishimoto developed self-awareness and joined the Japan Broadcasting Corporation.
Tada, who had been making poems criticizing Japan for rushing towards imperialism as if mimicking the Western great powers, continued composing poetry even after entering the broadcaster while he busied himself with producing lecture broadcasts. For Tada, being a poet and working as a Japan Broadcasting Corporation official were not contradicting.
Nishimoto who had studied progressive education in the United States went into academia and occasionally lectured on international peace on radio. Although his radio lecture program was forcibly terminated by the Ministry of Communications, he did not lose confidence in the broadcaster partly due to the earnest reaction of its Kansai Bureau (BK). Consequently, Nishimoto joined the Japan Broadcasting Corporation and launched school broadcasting to pursue his desire to spread new education through broadcasting.
Tada and Nishimoto were supposed to achieve self-realization at broadcasting sites. However, the times changed dramatically. In the era of warfare, from the Manchurian Incident, to the Second Sino-Japanese War, and to the Pacific War, the mission of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation had become to mobilize the people to fight, as it had turned to a propaganda machine of military and government authorities. Against this backdrop, how did Tada and Nishimoto live as organization persons? The second installment looks into their anguish and inner conflicts while portraying the reality of the war-time cultural broadcasts.
In late October 2018, the Public Broadcasters International (PBI) Conference was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. PBI is an annual forum where public service broadcasters in the world get together to address the challenges facing them and discus visions for the future. The 2018 theme was “Media’s Next Big Bang.” The convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications has dramatically changed the media landscape, in which the U.S. media companies are enhancing its influence and control by investing huge amounts of money. There is a mounting sense of crisis among European public service broadcasters as they fear the ongoing situation may endanger their existence. In his recent speeches, Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, had repeatedly touched on the crisis posed to public service media by the harsh environment including competition with those American media giants and challenges facing the funding system of public service media. Director-General Hall encouraged the participants to reconfirm the importance of public service broadcasting as a trustworthy news source, a stronghold protecting the culture of each country, and a liaison bringing fragmented audiences together. Amidst pessimistic opinions on the future of public service broadcasting, he emphasized that if public service media collaborate with each other they would be able to overcome the difficulties.