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September 2004
* Advertising Up for 2nd Straight Half in January-June 2004
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--Google Launches Japanese News-Search Service
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Story of the Month>>>
Record Crowd at NIE Convention in Niigata City

Advertising Up for 2nd Straight Half in January-June 2004

Dentsu Inc. on Aug. 12 released its January-June 2004 survey on advertising in newspapers, magazines, TV programs, TV spots and radio.

The survey says newspaper advertising was up 0.8 percent from the first half of 2003, in a second straight half-year rise. Advertising in both TV and radio commercials also rose, with only advertising in magazines failing to climb.

In January-June 2003, ad placements fell amid the Iraq War, financial instability and the SARS epidemic. This major turnaround comes with ad placements growing in a period of economic pickup and the Athens Olympics.

By industry, "beverages," "financial services and insurance" and "classified ads/ others" all increased advertising over the first half of 2003 in four of the five media. Advertising from "financial services and insurance" soared 22.5 percent in TV programs and 32.0 percent in TV spot commercials.

Ads from the "information/communication" sector, which surged in first-half 2003, grew another 2.1 percent in TV programs, but fell in the other four media. In first-half 2003, ads from three sectors fell in all media. But those sectors were not in the survey in January-June 2004.

Dentsu covered 120 newspapers nationwide, 15 TV broadcasters in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, nine radio stations in Tokyo and Osaka, and 384 magazines. Advertisers were broken down into 21 industry sectors.

Newspaper advertising details:

Advertising in newspapers was up in first-half 2004 for a second straight half-year. There had previously been four straight half-year drops, starting in second-half 2001. By type of newspaper, ads in national newspapers were up 1.3 percent, in regional "block" newspapers up 1.1 percent, and in local newspapers up 0.7 percent. Only sports dailies saw ad sales slip, by 0.6 percent.

For all newspapers, total advertising page-counts rose 1.4 percent year-on-year. The ratio of ads to pages dipped 0.1 of a percentage point to 37.5 percent.

Color advertising rose 10.2 percent in all newspaper categories, with sports dailies recording a 37.2 percent jump, and national newspapers 11.7 percent. Full-page and double-page spreads also rose. Double-page spreads in national and local newspapers dipped 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, but sports dailies saw a 300 percent gain.

Classified ads fell 0.2 percent for an eighth straight half-year drop. The drop came as a rise in regional, local and sports papers was offset by a big 6.9 percent drop in national newspaper classifieds.

By industry, ads from the "transportation/leisure" sector jumped 8.7 percent in a second straight half-year gain. Ads from nine industries including "distribution/retail" (up 16.4 percent), "foods" (up 5.7 percent) and "beverages," (up 5.5 percent) all registered a half-year rise.

But ads from the high-volume "automobiles/related goods" sector fell 8.8 percent, from "financial services/insurance" fell 2.6 percent and from "publishing", fell 2.5 percent. Other industries cutting ad spending in newspapers include "hobbies/sporting goods" (down 21.8 percent), "electric household appliances/audio-visual equipment" (down 13.2 percent), "household articles" (down 11.5 percent), and "government agencies/organizations" (down 9.4 percent).

Table 1 Percentage Change In Four Media's Ad Volume

1st Half 2nd Half 1st Half 2nd Half 1st Half
Newspaper -4.4 -2.6 -3.1 0.5 0.8
TV Program -1.8 -2.7 -3.0 0.8 2.6
TV Spots -2.9 1.2 3.1 1.7 2.7
Radio -5.1 0.3 2.2 4.0 1.7
Magazine -8.0 -4.1 -3.6 -4.5 -2.5

Table 2 Newspaper Ad Volume In The First Half Of Year 2004

Ad Volume
Number of Page
Percentage Change Compared With The Same Period Of The Last Year
Color Ad One-Page Ad Two-Page Ad Classified Ad
Total 3,008,495
10.2 2.6 6.3 -0.2
National Papers 1,220,970
11.7 2.2 -0.3 -6.9
Regional Papers 236,481
8.1 -1.6 16.0 6.3
Local Papers 1,258,851
7.0 3.9 0.5 1.1
Sports Papers 292,192
37.2 3.8 194.4 1.0
Note:Figures in parenthese mean % change over the same period of a year earier.


Google Launches Japanese News-Search Service

U.S. Internet search engine Google Inc. launched the Japanese version of its Google News on Sept. 1.

Google News in Japanese presents information culled from approximately 610 news sources, mostly Web sites operated by Japanese newspapers, news agencies, broadcast stations and foreign media that provide news in Japanese.

Using automated grouping, Google News pulls together related headlines updated continuously throughout the day. The search site enables users to go directly to the site that publishes the article.

This Google site carries no banner advertising, as Google does not pay for the sources of the news. Some sources have so far refused to be referenced in the search, among them, the Yomiuri Shimbun's Tokyo head company.

Google Inc. launched the Google News site in December 2001 and now runs it in the local language of 12 countries, including the United States, France, Germany and South Korea.

The Japanese-language site puts news articles into eight categories, including Top News, City News, International News, Business & Economy, Politics and Sports. The articles are compiled solely by computer algorithms, without human intervention.

An official of Google's Japanese subsidiary said the new service has no personnel cost. Google News in Japanese is intended to provide a way for users to find information available on the Web most swiftly, simply and efficiently, the official said, noting that the new service is not profit-oriented.

Google's service is bringing up questions about the protection of copyrights for headlines and about having direct access to individual news articles that bypasses upper pages of the host Web sites.

The Google official said that Google sees information on the Internet as public property, although this stance may be open to question, as is being debated in some court cases already. The official said Google will exclude any link that does not want to be used in its Web searches.

The Yomiuri Shimbun has refused to be referenced by Google News in Japanese. In December 2003, the Yomiuri went to court against Digital Alliance Corp., the operator of a Web search engine for news headlines, alleging that it violated the Copyright Law and obstructed business. That search site earns revenues from advertising. The Tokyo District Court turned down the Yomiuri's complaint this past March. The Yomiuri appealed the ruling to the Tokyo High Court and the case is still pending.

According to the Yomiuri, Google officials visited to request its cooperation on Aug. 31. A Yomiuri official said that the company flatly refused to be used by Google, citing the fact that the Yomiuri is providing news to Yahoo in return for fees and that headlines are protected by copyright.

In November 1997, the NSK Editorial Affairs Committee announced its stand on the question of copyrights related to information from the Internet released by newspapers and news agencies, calling for prior consultation with the sources when setting up links to their Web sites.

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Story of the Month>>>

Record Crowd at NIE Convention in Niigata City
The Newspaper Foundation for Education and Culture held its 9th Newspapers-In-Education (NIE) national convention on July 29-30 in Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture.

A record 1,095 people turned up for the convention on the theme, "Preserve and Develop the Print Media Culture - NIE". Participants included 958 school representatives and 137 newspaper delegates. Total attendance was almost double last year's 603 participants and the highest ever.

On the first day, school teachers shared their NIE experiences from elementary, junior, senior high and vocational schools in Niigata Prefecture through a panel of teachers and newspaper reporters. On the second day, there were demonstrations of NIE classes, sub-group meetings and a study session for teachers using newspapers in schools.

The convention began with a speech by Asahi Shimbun President Shin-ichi Hakoshima, the president of the foundation. He said he was encouraged by a first-ever survey of parents on the NIE drive that found about 90 percent support. He said newspaper editors must work harder to meet parents' expectations for more analytical articles. Noting NIE is now in operation in more than the original target of 400 schools, Hakoshima said it is time for a new stage and a new leap in the NIE drive.

One invited guest, the chief of the Niigata prefectural board of education, praised NIE, saying the use of newspapers in schools has been extensively reported to citizens through newspapers themselves and is helping the public to understand educational activities at schools.

In NIE demonstration classes, one teacher said his students made scrapbooks of newspaper articles to stimulate their interest in social events. He said the result was that students improved communications among themselves by discussing the news.

The panel theme was, "NIE Raises Student Awareness - Furthering the Community-School Alliance". One panelist said NIE helps teachers communicate with students through newspapers and students can follow any given issue on an ongoing basis.

Other comments:

* In the information society, those exploring the world around them still have a good partner in newspapers.

* Newspapers give parents and children a chance to communicate on an equal footing.

* NIE programs provide a stage for children to associate with their communities in collaboration with education volunteers.

The second day of the main session featured demonstrations of NIE classes and sub-group sessions. Participants split up into six groups: two each for elementary, junior high and senior high schools. Teachers reported on NIE in their classrooms, leading to candid discussions on "transmitting information" through NIE.

One elementary school teacher said his sixth-grade students in Niigata City researched history and the status quo in their own town to report on the town and its priorities through a guidebook and classroom newspaper. The students read newspaper articles in the NIE class every Wednesday to find clues for research. The teacher said newsgathering taught students the feeling that reporters have for their articles as the students expressed their own feelings in their classroom newspaper.

At the senior high school session, "Learn to Sort Out and Transmit Information Via Newspaper-Making," first-year students reported on covering the convention's first day in the form of a newspaper.

In a question-and-answer session, one participant questioned placing too much emphasis on "transmitting information by children," noting that much simpler and easier NIE activities could broaden the base for NIE.

Other participants responded:

* Despite the importance of information transmission, there should be various methods and expressing one's own opinion is one form of transmission.

* The effects of NIE can best be felt when children realize the difficulty of delivering information and begin to face that challenge.

* There should be a simplified NIE method for schools and teachers who might doubt their own ability to use a highly sophisticated NIE system.

The discussions pointed to need for NIE methods for beginners, even as other NIE experiences advance to a higher level.

At the study session, the participants in six groups used the day's six locally published newspaper editions as educational materials to plan an NIE class. They appreciated the study session as a rare chance to see the potential of newspapers in the classroom, as well as to review their own teaching methods.

Nihon Shinbun Kyokai
The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association
Nippon Press Center Bldg., 2-2-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo100-8543, Japan

Copyright 2004 Nihon Shinbun Kyokai
All right reserved