NHK’s production methods of TV documentaries have been significantly influenced by the following four stages of technological evolution: 1) adoption of 16mm film as a recording medium in the pioneer days of television, 2) spread of synchronized sound recording technique during the period from the late 60s to the early 70s, 3) conversion from film to video tape recording for location shooting from the late 70s to early 80s, and 4) progress in digitalization throughout the production process since the mid-80s. Each of these technological developments were groundbreaking in terms of creating a technological environment that all those involved in the production of TV documentaries at NHK could rely on over more than a decade and leading to the establishment of production methods fitting for each environment.This article overviews the major TV documentaries presented by NHK during the period from 1953, when the television broadcasting officially started, to 2018 and looks into the mid- to long-term evolution of documentary production methods, focusing on technological environment. Based on the findings from the research, the over-60-year history of NHK TV documentaries were divided into four periods.
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 including expectations and concerns as well as requests for broadcasting services. This paper reports the findings from the fourth survey held in October 2018.The fourth survey distinctively finds the change in the respondents’ awareness of the Paralympics and para-sports. Those who think the Paralympic Games “should be covered as a sports event in the same way as the Olympic Games” have increased from the first survey (from 37 to 43%). As to para sports, more people think para sports are “recognized” in modern society than in past surveys, and those who have concrete image of para sports as sports, such as “displaying great performances,” “cheerful” and “powerful,” has increased.The public evaluation on preparation for the Olympics and Paralympics has largely improved. Two years ago, 80 per cent had harsh opinions, finding it “not going well,” but those finding it “going well” have increased with each survey, and this latest survey has more than half of the respondents answering so for the first time. Meanwhile, regarding concerns, those who worried about the impacts on Tokyo, such as traffic congestion and worsening of public safety or living environments, have increased.In contrast to these changes, there was no change in the public opinions about Tokyo’s hosting the Olympics and Paralympics and in their interests in the coming games. Approx. 85 per cent find Tokyo’s hosting the games “good” and “fairly good,” and approx. 80 per cent are interested in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and approx. 60 percent in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics—little change in these figures over the past two years.Regarding desired broadcast services, “catch-up service” and “ultrahigh definition and hyper reality” have always been ranked high since the first survey. However, viewers’ needs vary depending on genders, age groups, and devices they plan to watch the Olympics and Paralympics: for example. The expectation for “catch-up service” is higher among women aged 50 and under, and “ultrahigh definition and hyper reality” among those aged 60 and over.
This paper reports the findings of the survey on religion that the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducted from October to November 2018 as a member of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), focusing on the time-series comparison of the latest and past survey results in Japan.The summary of the findings is as follows. (1) While the percentages of believers of different religions remain almost the same, religious faith is weakening, and people pray to the gods less frequently. (2) There is a decrease in those who feel that “the sun (God) is watching them,” “supernatural powers exists,” and “deities dwell in nature”—notions that have long been regarded as traditional values of the Japanese. (3) Those who expect religions to play certain roles such as “providing comfort” are decreasing. Those who find religions dangerous outnumber those who do not. (4) By religious groups, there are more negative attitudes towards Muslims than towards the members of other religious groups.In Japan, presumably, there are many people who have never thought deeply about religion. However, the situation may change as the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act will come into effect in April 2019, which will boost the acceptance of foreign workforce. If one gets acquainted with more people with different religious views, there will be more cases where one needs to think about “the Japanese and religion” than before.