Nihon no sugao (Japan Unmasked) is a TV series produced and broadcast from November 1957 through April 1964, which built a foundation of production methods of Japanese TV documentaries. Several techniques and procedures emerged as new production methods in the course of making the program; they are now regarded as basic methods of producing TV documentaries. Some of them, such as the use of narration for commentary and explanation, were extensively embraced from the start, while others, including interviews, were timidly implemented at first. This study paper is a four-part series that examines what kinds of methods appeared on what timings and how they were developed along the way.
The first part of the series points out that the production methods of Japan Unmasked underwent changes over time and presents a quantitative analytical framework to grasp the changes.
January 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. In order to study public attitudes towards disasters, the authors analyze the results of a nationwide public opinion survey that was conducted by NHK in 2019. The findings include the following.
- People who “clearly remember” the earthquake and the damages account for 59% in the Kansai region that was hit by the quake, but the figure was only 36% on a national level.
- Earthquake resistance standards were reviewed in 1981, but when asked about the houses that had been built before that year, the majority, 68%, say, “I have not reinforced my house against earthquakes.” Furthermore, about 80% find their earthquake preparedness at home “insufficient (including ‘somewhat’).” Regarding a question on whether residents will help each other when a major disaster occurs, “I don't think so” outnumbers “I think so.” Meanwhile, the survey finds that those who experienced disasters, those who are concerned about possible disasters, and those who are ready to confront natural threats or expect mutual cooperation among community members are more prepared.
- As to a level-four evacuation advisories/orders at a time of heavy rainfall, 45% answered they would “not evacuate immediately.” The reasons for “not evacuating immediately” include “life in a shelter must be stressful” (32%) and “I will need to think about evacuating family members” (23%).
- Regarding evacuation calls used in broadcast, the most-cited answer for the most effective expressions is “mentioning of detailed place names in the area I live,” followed by “Evacuate immediately!” In response to a question on who can make you evacuate, the most-cited answer is “local government officers,” and the second place was shared by “Japan Meteorological Agency officers” and “announcers I see on local programs.”
In Japan the words “media literacy” is often understood in the context of “the ability to critically analyze the information delivered by the mass media.” The term came into wide use in the late 1990s, which triggered NHK and commercial broadcasters to push forward their efforts on promoting media literacy. The movement slowed down in the 2000s, but today, with words like “fake news” and “post truce” drawing much attention, once again there is a strong call for cultivating media literacy as “the ability to consider the roles and responsibilities of the media and act according as both a receiver and a sender of information.”
This paper reviews the concept of media literacy and looks into broadcasters' on- and off-screen approaches respectively. Regarding on-screen, or broadcast programs, the author divides programs dealing with media literacy into three categories: “promotional programs and self-verification programs,” “features,” and “educational programs for elementary and middle schoolers and for high-school students.” Off-screen approaches, or media literacy efforts other than in broadcast programs, are divided into three categories: “events for elementary and middle schoolers and for high-school students,” “facilities open to the public,” and “printed promotional materials and websites.” The author looks back the history of broadcasters' media literacy approaches in each category, focusing on NHK and also referring to commercial broadcasters.
As we have entered an age of social media where anyone can easily post information with audio and/or visual messages, the paper discusses what roles broadcasters can play in fostering media literacy.
The APAC Trusted Media Summit 2019 was held in Singapore from December 6th to December 11th, 2019, hosted by the Google News Initiative and the International Fact–Checking Network. Around 270 people including journalists, fact–checkers, and researchers gathered together from 28 countries and regions mainly from Asia–Pacific region.
The summit event started with the product working group meeting on December 6th, which was followed by the main conference on 7th and 8th where representatives of media outlets, fact–checking groups, and research institutions reported the status of each country/region including the expansion of mis- and disinformation and countermeasures taken by media organizations. Presenters also shared with the participants the achievements of fact–checking collaborations beyond media borders that had been triggered by electoral fraud and other issues as well as looming challenges. The conference also arouse attention to video posts using “deepfakes,” or fake videos that are so elaborate that users are easily fooled to believe they are authentic.
The second half of the conference was dedicated to workshops instructed by persons working at the frontline of fact checking. The workshops included a forum on how to combat misinformation in medicine that were spreading in Asia and a “verification” seminar focusing on how to verify the authenticity of possible mis- and disinformation from unknown sources, utilizing search engines and digital tools. Among the workshop leaders, Dr. Kajimoto Masato, Assistant Professor of the University of Hong Kong, who had been promoting news literacy education in various countries/regions in Asia, held a three-day “bootcamp” on news literacy, where around sixty participants shared their activities and experiences, building a stronger network.