Three years have passed since two American OTT services, NETFLIX and Amazon Prime Video, debuted in Japan. Japanese broadcasters have launched their own fee-based video streaming services to counter them, but at the same time they are deepening partnerships with these service providers. This article looks into the number of users and discusses how far these services will expand, by analyzing the results of the Survey on Media Use—public opinion survey annually conducted by the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute since 2016. To predict the future of fee-based streaming services, the author analyzed the survey results from two perspectives. One is subscribers to fee-based multichannel broadcasting services such as WOWOW and SKY PerfecTV!, and the other is users of free-of-charge video streaming services such as YouTube; the author delved into the responses of these two groups to see how likely they will subscribe to fee-based streaming services in the future. Even now we can observe a trend that subscribers to fee-based multichannel broadcasting services sign up for fee-based streaming services, and the trend is likely to continue in the future. Nevertheless, presumably, code-cutting (switching from pay multichannel television to pay streaming services), which is prevailing in the U.S., is unlikely to occur in Japan for the time being. In regards to free-of-charge video streaming service users, no specific indication of their future subscriptions to fee-based streaming services was found, which suggests free-of-charge streaming services may be able to prevent users from signing up for fee-based streaming services by enriching the content they provide.
Triggered by the coming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, there is an increasing momentum towards the creation of a more inclusive society, where everyone, regardless of with or without an impairment, can realise one’s potential and respect each other. What roles can broadcasters play to achieve this? The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute held a symposium titled “The Role of Broadcasting in Achieving an Inclusive Society: Triggered by the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games” as a part of BUNKEN FORUM 2019 in March 2019, to explore the role and responsibility of broadcasting. Panelists were as follows: Miki Matheson, a gold medalist at the Nagano 1998 Paralympics, who strives to promote understanding for persons with an impairment through Paralympic education, Ade Rawcliffe, who engaged in Channel 4’s London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic coverage and now serves as Head of Diversity for ITV, a commercial broadcaster in the U.K., and Masayuki Higuchi, who supervises NHK’s broadcasts of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Matheson said that broadcasters must convey the idea of the Paralympic Movement including that every person should have an opportunity to stand on the same stage as a result of commitment. Then, while pointing out that the Paralympic broadcasts may eliminate the bias towards persons with an impairment by projecting the strength and the glamour of the athletes, she also referred to the risk of stereotyping that every person with an impairment would be seen as athletes. Matheson emphasised the importance of Paralympic coverage that could enhance social involvement of diverse types of persons with an impairment. Rawcliffe reported Channel 4’s innovative campaigns for the coverage of the London 2012 and the Rio 2016 Paralympics, which became an epoch of the Paralympic broadcasts, as well as the ongoing diversification efforts for ITV’s programmes and at production sites. She said that to promote social understanding of persons with an impairment it would be highly important for broadcasters to create an environment where hiring people with an impairment in general programmes and at production sites would become just natural to incorporate their views into programme making. She emphasised multiple views generated from diversification efforts would lead to more creative content and innovations. Higuchi reported that NHK started hiring persons with an impairment as reporters from the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games, which had been gradually changing the attitudes at production sites. For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, he underlined the importance of how to maximize this great opportunity of hosting the Paralympic Games and expressed his hope for raising awareness of the Paralympics and deepen public understanding of persons with an impairment not only by reporting the events but also by portraying individual athlete’s way of life and environment surrounding them in a respectful manner. Paralympic coverage has a potential to become a trigger for eliminating stereotypes about persons with an impairment but is not a panacea. Broadcasters must fully utilise this great opportunity and continuously broadcaster must change itself into an organization that embraces diversity. Hosting the Paralympic Games in our own country will serve as a key momentum for the reform.
The BBC, once criticized for its London-centric organizational structure and programming, is investing more and more in production and services outside the British capital. To reflect and serve the diverse communities around the U.K. is now one of its key missions. The public service broadcaster launched a new channel dedicated to Scotland—BBC Scotland—in February 2019. Its flagship nightly news program ‘The Nine’ covers regional, national and international news from a Scottish perspective. The channel is also home to documentaries, comedies and dramas, portraying life in modern Scotland, with a daily broadcast from noon to midnight. The BBC has also established the Local News Partnerships (LNP) program, a collaborative journalism project created under the latest Royal Charter, and in partnership with local media organizations across the U.K. As a part of the LNP, the BBC funds the cost of hiring Local Democracy Reporters (LDRs), who report from local newsrooms working to hold local authorities and representatives to account. In 2018, more than 50,000 stories by over 140 LDRs were shared among around 850 news outlets, an achievement that has caught international attention. The Assistant Editor of BBC Local News Partnerships took part in a panel session themed on public service journalism and local journalism collaboration at the BUNKEN FORUM 2019 held in March this year. The final part of this paper will summarize the discussion of the panel, with a focus on the value of partnerships and the challenges ahead in local journalism. This paper is the second part of a series of articles based on presentations at the BUNKEN FORUM 2019 and field researches in the U.K. and the U.S.
The NHK Japanese Time Use Survey, which has been conducted by NHK every five years since 1960, is faced with a difficulty in making time-series analyses of people’s media use activities, affected by the spread of the internet, the diversification of media tools, etc. Taking this issue into consideration, we held the Time Use Survey on Media Use in December 2018, with an aim to study more precisely Japanese media use in their daily lives. In designing the survey, we devised a way to capture fragmented media use activities, added questionnaire items on respondents’ communication behavior on social media and other internet sites, and surveyed their media use by devices and including when they are on the move. The survey results show that respondents use smartphones ⁄ mobile phones most heavily while commuting to school or office in the morning and that the peak of digital media usage in the evening comes after the peak of TV viewing. As to the overall media use, it is found that the largest amount of time is spent on real-time TV viewing but young people spend as much time on social media, online videos, and games as on TV viewing. Looking at specific occasions in daily lives, we can see men in their 20s use various media such as social media, music, games, and news on smartphones or mobile phones while commuting to school or office in the morning. While teenagers watch television at suppertime, they spent much time on smartphones ⁄ mobile phones at night, with male teenagers notably using them for games. As these results show, smartphones and mobile phones have become part of young people’s everyday lives and are increasing their presence as a must-have device for them.
The first chapter covered Yoshizaki’s early carrier after his assignment to Kumamoto Station as a young TV director where he learnt about issues related to Minamata for the first time, made programs on fetal Minamata disease patients, albeit being drained body and soul, was transferred to Tokyo to find himself perplexed by the difference environment of program production there, and received another transfer order to Nagasaki while still struggling to make programs as he wished. This second—and final—chapter chronicles how Yoshizaki chose Fukuoka as his next destination after Nagasaki and made up his mind to develop attachment to the locality to commit himself anew to Minamata. When the act on special measures concerning Minamata disease was adopted in 2009 with an intention of “closing the case,” Yoshizaki reported the reality that a number of potential victims were discarded and asked himself a question, “Minamata issues are being forced to close. What is Minamata at all?” First thing he did was to explore the way of life and the philosophy of two individuals who had raised public awareness of Minamata and been supporting patients over half a century, Masazumi Harada, a doctor, and Michiko Ishimure, a writer, to delve into the nature of their life-staking accusations. Then he joined a project analyzing the post-war history of Japan to retrace the real characteristics of modern Japan, which had created a structure of discriminatory social stratification and eliminated humanity from corporate owners, doctors, and bureaucrats and explored what kind of salvation was presently needed. Then came an encounter with NHK news reporter Dai Higashijima who had also been committed to Minamata over two decades. Higashijima’s persistent negotiation allowed them to conduct an on-camera interview with Shunkichi Goto, President of Chisso Corporation. Their incisive questions to the very person who was trying to draw a curtain on Minamata brought his intentions to the light of day. Never let Minamata be a thing of the past—Yoshizaki’s battle still continues.
This paper presents points which the media should take into consideration in reporting counter news against misinformation or disinformation. The following shows the gist of matters to be noted. - Lacking novelty, or news hook, compared to original misinformation or disinformation, counter news spread less easily. Therefore, counter news must be reported repeatedly. - If counter news is released too soon, it reaches people who do not know the original misinformation or disinformation, which may allow the misinformation or disinformation to take on a life of its own as they have a strong news hook. - Messages in counter news calling for not getting swayed by misinformation or disinformation must be designed not to provoke audience’s psychological resistance or backlash. - Many rumors are made of facts and errors. Lumping them together as “false rumors” may lead to a misconception that every rumor has no basis in fact and is a lie. - Fake videos may become more artful, taking advantage of machine learning of artificial intelligence. In the United States, media organizations and universities are developing technologies to distinguish fake videos from authentic ones. Sophisticated fake videos may spread in Japan, too. - Even if counter news is reported on TV or radio, viewers and listeners may miss or misunderstand the report or judge prematurely. It will be useful if counter information (texts and charts) on the internet become accessible from TV screen as needed.