This paper analyzes the result of a nationwide public opinion survey conducted by NHK in 2018 with an aim to examine the impact of the diversification of news media on people’s contact with political news as well as their political awareness. - The most-used media (main media) for accessing news content varies depending on the gender and age group, with responses including “newspaper,” “NHK news programs,” “commercial broadcasters’ news programs,” “commercial broadcasters’ talk shows and information programs ,” “Yahoo! News,” and “LINE NEWS .”- The following trends were found from an analysis by the main media: (1) those using “newspaper” or “NHK news” as the main media tend to access political news voluntarily and proactively and have high degrees of contact frequency, interest in politics, and willingness to vote, (2) those citing “Yahoo! News” or “commercial broadcasters’ news” show middle degrees of the above, and (3) those citing “commercial broadcasters’ information programs” or “LINE NEWS” are passive about contacting political news, with low degrees of contact frequency, interest in politics, and willingness to vote. Differences are also found among online media users such that those whose main media is “LINE NEWS” are less concerned about news sources than those using “Yahoo! News” as the main media. - Evaluations on politics and attitudes towards specific issues also differ by the media use, but no particular political orientation (such that people using a certain media are consistently positive about the policies hammered out by the government or are more likely to be highly conservative) was found, which suggests that the difference in political awareness is influenced not only by the difference in media use but also by gender, age group, and party affiliation. However, there is a possibility that the difference in the information contact behavior will widen the gap in the quality and quantity of individual contact with political news, which may enlarge the gap in the political attitudes of the public in the future.
The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute has been conducting “surveys on school teachers’ media usage” since 2013 to grasp a full picture of how NHK’s educational services are used. The 2018 survey focused on primary school teachers.While the results find no major changes from the previous 2016 survey in the environment for teachers’ use of media devices such as TV sets and computers, there has been an increase in teachers who have access to tablet computers as well as children embracing “one-tablet-per-child (OTPC)” environment. The survey also reveals that CD players with radio—a new survey item added in 2018—are used by many. Meanwhile, it is found that although the availability of wireless internet connection at classroom is increasing, there has been no change in the percentage of teachers working in the environment where they can play videos without trouble (38%), which remains as a problem.As a whole, the use of media teaching/learning materials with these media devices has increased, and the users of “NHK school broadcast TV programs” or “NHK Digital Curriculum” (internet content) account for 67%, and “Digital Textbook for Teachers” 65%.In regards to the fields to be revised in the 2020 new “course of study,”of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), many teachers of “foreign languages and foreign language activities” use digital materials made and distributed by the MEXT, but not many teachers of “moral education as a special subject” use media materials due to the introduction of the textbook. 14% of teachers have started teaching “computer programming” prior to the introduction.To achieve the “proactive, interactive, and deep learning” advocated in the new “course of study,” in addition to media materials used by teachers, it is required more than ever to develop a media environment and provide media materials so that every child can use a tablet computer.
NHK has been conducting the “Survey on Japanese Value Orientations” every five years since 1973. From the latest survey, this article presents the results on politics, nationalism, daily lives, fundamental values, etc. The key findings are as follows.- Since the launch of this survey there has been a longitudinal decline in those who feel that public actions and opinions such as voting and demonstrations wield impacts on national politics.- Regarding the Emperor, those who “respect him” have been increasing since 2008, marking the highest in 45 years (41%) in this survey, outnumbering those having “favorable feelings” or “no particular feelings.”
- With a rise in the number of foreign residents, contact with foreigners is increasing. However, interest in international exchanges is declining.- Regarding a question on which comes first, work or leisure, “work-first” was the most-cited answer in the 1970s, but those who cherish “work-leisure-balance” increased in the period between the 80s and the early 90s, and it has been the most-cited answer since 1988.
- As to human relationship at work, with relatives, and with neighbors, there has been a longitudinal decrease in those who wanting close relationship in the all three categories.- The level of satisfaction with life in general has been rising over a long period. In the latest survey, those “satisfied” account for 39%, and the figure becomes 92% when including “rather satisfied.”The overview of the survey series reveals changes in public attitudes in every question fields, which is especially notable in “family and gender relations.” Meanwhile, some sentiments such as “It is natural to use honorific expressions for older people” and “I’m happy having been born in Japan” are shared by many and keep the almost same percentages.