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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #25: February 16, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: February 16, 2004

JMR Staff (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California)

The following reviews are posted at:

Media Reps Study Financial Struggles in Online Journalism
From Mainichi Shimbun: The struggle to earn profits in online journalism was a buzzworthy topic among representatives of over 30 publications at a study group on the future of newspapers held in Tokushima. Although a January survey by The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association (Nihon Shinbun Kyokai) showed that almost all national and local newspapers have online versions, among the participants of the discussion group for online newspapers, few reported financial success.
One of the struggling sites is Shimono Shimbun, a local paper in Tochigi Prefecture that gets 5 million hits per month and offers a low-cost archive service for articles as old as three years. To-o Nippo, published in Aomori Prefecture, has also done its share of financial hand-wringing. The discussion group shared the concern that publishing content online could result in a decline in newspaper subscriptions, preventing companies from expanding their online business. Participants also worried that charging fees might decrease readership at the site.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Iraqi Police Ordered to Keep Security Information From Japanese Media
From Mainichi Daily News: Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority has imposed a gag rule on Japanese media covering Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force in Samawah, according to Mainichi. That's because Japanese journalists have been reporting "security problems" and officials feel the town's image needs improving, said Karim Helbet Monahar al-Zayday, police commissioner in Al Muthanna province where Samawah is seated. Gov. Muhammed al-Hassani, al-Zayday and CPA representatives were involved in the decision that none of the police stations in the province may provide security information to Japanese reporters. According to al-Zayday, who suggested that the rule may be reviewed later, the town's security is getting better. The governor, who ordered the gag rule Jan. 20, said the Japanese media were "deliberately playing up the security problem in Samawah," al-Zayday added. The commissioner used an example of a Japanese media organization "(reporting) without grounds" that men arrested at a checkpoint and later released were terrorists with sights on Japanese troops.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Sunny Yu

Media Stirring Too Little Controversy Over Iraq Restrictions
From The Japan Times: In an interview with The Japan Times, sociology professor Takaaki Hattori criticized the media and the government about restricted war reporting, saying the media should be "the public's eyes and ears," not "a mouthpiece for the government." He said by sending warnings, cutting the number of press briefings and the like, Japan's Defense Agency easily controls media coverage of Self-Defense Force troops in Iraq. And while some in the media are critical, little discussion or controversy have been raised about the restrictions. He added it is especially "dirty" of the government to control the media when taxpayers bear the cost of the war. Characteristically, Hattori claims, the Japanese media are poor at criticizing domestic issues, but skilled in reporting foreign issues. Unlike in the United States, he went on to say, there is not much discussion on freedom of speech in Japan despite protection under Article 21 in Japan's constitution.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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