Efforts to reimagine journalism are underway amid a deepening crisis of the news media in the United States. Digital disruption has deprived the media of its traditional role as the gatekeeper of information, thrown doubts on its raison d'être, and forced a review of its business model as well as a re-examination of the practice of journalism. In an age of information overload, journalism is being challenged whether it can deliver the information people need and can trust, in a way people can digest and make use of. At a time of growing public scrutiny, journalism needs to increase transparency to gain trust, do more explaining to gain understanding, to engage and interact to connect with the public. This is the thinking behind Engaged Journalism—which starts with listening. It’s journalism that centers on nurturing trust and relationship with the people it serves, an approach that treats the people as ‘partners’ rather than just ‘audiences’, This paper reports on the background to the expanding practice of Engaged Journalism in the news media, and their diverse practice of engagement, in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, focusing on the interviews the author conducted with journalists in October 2019, in the U.S.
Prior to the enthronement ceremony “Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi” that took place in October 2019, the author had conducted a telephone survey to study the public attitudes towards the Imperial Household including their interest in the Imperial Family and opinions on the imperial succession. The survey finds that those interested in the current Imperial Family, those feeling an affinity with them, and those feeling the distance between the Imperial Family and the Japanese citizens are getting closer account for around 70%, respectively, which tells that many of Japanese citizens have interest in or a sense of closeness to the Imperial Family. Likewise, around 70% support the ideas of female Emperors and jokei tenno (female-line Emperors, or the enthronement of a child born to a female Emperor and a non-imperial family man), respectively. Meanwhile, only about 40% know the meaning of jokei tenno, and those who think the Imperial Household system should be revised stays at around 50%.
It has been almost seventy years since the commencement of television broadcasting. There are many calls for the establishment of rules on versatile reuse of past TV content in order to utilize a hefty number of programs stored at broadcasting stations. This article discusses the ideal way of handling portrait rights, which is a crucial task in promoting the reuse of past TV programs, centering on the “draft guidelines on portrait rights handling” announced by the Legal Framework Group of the Japan Society for Digital Archive in September 2019. The second chapter of this paper looks into major court cases including the 2005 Supreme Court ruling that presented the criteria on what constitutes portrait right infringement, which is not stipulated in the law. The third chapter examines the content of the draft guidelines, which were developed based on Supreme Court precedents and other cases, in the context of reusing broadcast programs to elucidate problems. The fourth chapter tries out the effectiveness of the draft guidelines, using NHK's past documentary programs. The final chapter presents the challenges to be solved and prospects for the future to conclude the report.
Following the February issue, the authors report the second half of “Research on TV Producers NEO ‹Attachment to the Locality›, [Part III] Takao Ito, NHK.” Takao Ito was transferred to the visual production division (former filming division) of the Production Engineering Department in Tokyo, where he made a number of large-scale programs involving overseas location shooting including NHK Special series, but in 1991 he moved to Sendai Station at his own wish and started pursuing the opposite type of themes, dedicating to shooting and producing programs that depict people living in farming, mountain, and fishing villages who were deeply rooted in the soil of Tohoku (Northeast Japan). This second installation examines Ito's programs and looks back on his 28 years in Sendai.
Ito's works during this period can be roughly divided into three categories: (1) programs that delves into local residents' lives and bonds against the background of the climate of the region such as NHK Special series: Masayo Baachan-no tenchi: hayachine no fumoto ni ikite [Gramma Masayo's universe: living at the foot of Mt. Hayachine] (1991) and Yuki no bohyo: Okuaizu sousou-no fukei [Grave Markers in the snow: in funeral scenery in Okuaizu] (1993), (2) a group of programs following dedicated artisans such as Prime 11: Kobushi ni kakeru—musumetachi no minyo shugyo [Take a chance on “kobushi” vocal ornamentation—female folk song singers under training] (1995), and (3) docu-dramas portraying the mind of Tohoku-born intellectuals such as novelists Kenji Miyazawa and Osamu Dazai. His Tohoku Trilogy starting with Igune: Yashikirin ga hagukumu denen no shiki [Igune: four seasons of the countryside fostered by homestead woods] (2002) is an extension of (1) and a unique project in terms of both idea and method; a program with an accumulation of visual records, led by the cameraperson, of the nature and human activities in communities around Sendai. Among them, Inasa [Southeast wind] follows the lives of farmers and fishermen in Sendai City's Arahama district that is blessed by gifts from seasonal winds. The documentary became a series with eight episodes covering before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake up until last year. The authors shed light on how these programs were born and what they convey to the contemporary Japan, based on their content analysis and interviews.
∗Takao Ito currently works as a senior staff member at Sendai Branch of NHK Technologies, Inc.
NHK has been conducting the “war experience drawings/paintings” project inviting people with war experience to illustrate their own experience since the 1970s and collected more than 4,900 pictures from a total of six sessions held at four local stations: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Okinawa, and Sapporo. On comparing these works to other pictures using war as a motif, or “war drawings/paintings,” it is found “war experience drawings/paintings” are different from “The Hiroshima Panels”—a notable series of paints depicting the consequences of atomic bombing—in terms that the former's supplemental linguistic information such as dates, places, and explanations of situations point to somewhere specific in the real world. The author also compared them with “war-strategy record pictures” drawn by military-commissioned artists during WWII as well as with animated documentaries reproducing past events in a form of animation, and confirmed a distinction that the “war experience drawings/paintings” were made by the witness of each event. Linguistics has a grammatical category called “evidentiality” that speakers use different expressions depending on whether they actually saw the events or not, and “war experience drawings/paintings” presumably have this evidentiality. And the said four stations have been playing a role of providing supplemental information to those pictures through interviews and investigations. Given that television has been delivering stereotypical images of war by using limited visual materials repeatedly, “war experience drawings/paintings” are valuable as it can visually communicate diverse aspects of war. One of the advantages of drawings and paintings is that they can portray even the subjects that cameras fail to capture because photographers cannot predict and prepare for shooting, and even today, when camera-equipped smartphones are prevalent, this strength serves as an effective tool.