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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #58: October 19, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: October 19, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Internet Love Story to Be Published
From The Daily Yomiuri: A collection of posts to a Web message board is being published as a book this month. The story is based on a 22-year-old man's account of a romance on board a train, which he posted to the popular Web site Channel 2. As the story of his relationship evolved, hundreds of online readers reacted to the posts by giving advice. One of the members compiled people's responses in a narrative form and posted it on the Net. The finished story, called "Densha Otoko" ("The Train Man"), received great attention from readers and has already gained recognition in the literary world. Publisher Shinchosha Co. plans to release the story in book form Oct. 22, with the text printed horizontally, as it appeared on the Internet, rather than in the vertical format commonly used in books. The author and the person who compiled the posts have kept their anonymity. "It's a new kind of literature through which anonymous people's writings have created a story of youth and solidarity," said a representative for the publisher.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Police Believe Internet Facilitated Suicide Pacts
From The New York Times: Police in Japan found nine people dead in two vehicles at almost the same time Oct. 12 and say the deaths may be tied to a suicide message board on the Internet. Police found charcoal burners in both cars, and the cars' windows had been sealed. Officials said the seven occupants of one vehicle, a minivan, and the two people in the other car likely met online. In Japan, where the suicide rate is about twice as high as in the United States, there are Web sites devoted to the topics of suicide and suicide techniques. Some sites advertise "painless" suicide kits. In the past, authorities have urged Internet providers to report possible online suicide pacts, but most providers are thought to have ignored the request.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Newspaper Association Honors Year's Best News Coverage
From the October Pressnet Bulletin: Winners of this year's NSK (Nihon Shinbun Kyokai) Editorial Division Awards have been announced. Nihon Keizai Shimbun won an award for its scoop on the merger between two banks, UFJ and Mitsubishi Tokyo. The coverage received critical acclaim for its accurate reporting of the restructuring trend in the banking industry. NHK was given the award for its coverage of the suicide bomb attack on the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. NHK broadcast footage of the attack earlier than other TV stations. Hokkaido Shimbun won an award for its ongoing coverage of a police slush fund scandal. The story led to revelation of accounting irregularities at police stations nationwide. Niigata Nippo received an award for its long-term series on the North Korea abductees. The sensitive coverage urged government action on the abduction. The four awards were given at the 57th National Newspaper Convention on Oct. 15 in Toyama City.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Kyodo News Starts 'Special Assignment' Beat
From the October Pressnet Bulletin: Kyodo News, Japan's largest wire service, last month created a new position to focus on in-depth reporting. So-called "special assignment writers" will be excused from routine duties, focusing on newsgathering and writing of longer-form articles and specializing in analysis of complex topics. Kyodo News said the move came in response to higher demand from subscribers for in-depth analysis. The news agency appointed Mikio Haruna, deputy chief editorial writer, to oversee the new office.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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