NSK News Bulletin Goes On-Line!

We are pleased to announce the upgrading of the NSK News Bulletin to a new, more modern service. The last issue of the quarterly English-language newsletter published by the Nihon Shinbun Kyokai was the Volume 24, No. 3, issue published on Oct. 10.

Starting from November, our long-established publication makes a fresh start as the monthly Web magazine, "NSK News Bulletin Online."

NSK News Bulletin Online is posted on the Internet on the 10th day of each month. We will continue to bring you up-to-date information about NSK projects and research, as well as the latest developments in Japan's mass media.

We will also be sending you the headlines of the articles in the monthly Web magazine, directly, by e-mail. So please be sure to confirm that we have your up-to-date e-mail address in our files.

We continue to look forward to hearing from our readers. Please send any comments and requests to the editorial division of the new "NSK News Bulletin Online" magazine by e-mail:

Thank you.

NSK News Bulletin Online
November 2001

* Newspaper Convention Held in Fukuoka
* NSK Releases Results of 2nd Readership Survey
* Newspaper Advertisement Data Archives Launched
* Terrorist Atttacks on the U.S. Affect Japan's Newspaper and Broadcast Industries
* Topics
--Waseda University Announces 1st Tanzan Ishibashi memorial Journalism Awards
--National Meeting of Mass-Media Ethics Council Held in October
--Japan Mass Media Society Marks 50th Anniversary

Newspaper Convention in Fukuoka Marked by Reader-Participation Events

The 54th National Newspaper Convention was held in Fukuoka City on Oct. 16-17 as the main event of the annual Newspaper Week that started on Oct. 15. A total of 517 representatives of NSK member companies and others attended. The motto of this year's Newspaper Week was "Keenly Observing the Era of Reforms."

The two-day gathering featured a ceremony to confer NSK awards, lectures by novelist Hiroyuki Itsuki and Toa University President Masakazu Yamazaki, and a panel debate on the subject "Fathoming the Changes of the Times - New Perspectives for Newspaper Management."

Prior to and after the convention, a series of local reader-participation events were held on the theme, "Read-Me Plaza in Fukuoka." Since fall 2000, NSK has been backing a "Read-Me" campaign aimed at getting the younger generation to subscribe to newspapers. Capitalizing on the newspaper convention, events were organized at the convention venue as part of the campaign. In Tenjin, the downtown district of Fukuoka City, a "Cafe*Read Me" coffee shop was opened, and on the weekend of Oct. 13-14, a unique fashion show, called, "Wear Newspapers and Wear the Contemporary Era," was organized by students of the Clothing Division of Koran Women's College(photo). The students conducted intensive pre-show research, including visiting a spinning factory in Arao City, Kumamoto Prefecture. The show featured about 20 innovative and eye-catching articles of clothing made from old newspapers and photo-negative plates.

In other events, the comedy group, "The Newspaper," gave a public performance on the newspaper theme, while a live-relay broadcast was made over the Internet to listen to the voices of readers talking about newspapers in Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures.

Over the course of the meeting, there was a display of prize-winning photographs at the convention venue on the theme, "Scenes with a Newspaper," submitted by newspaper readers to mark Newspaper Week. In addition, a news photo exhibition titled, "Requiem: Memories of Photojournalists Who Perished in Indochina," was held at a separate site from Sept. 27 through Oct. 18.

During Newspaper Week, meetings were held in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka in the aim of promoting contact with newspaper readers. On Oct. 20 -- "Newspaper-Advertising Day," a ceremony was held to confer the Newspaper Advertising Prize. Gatherings in honor of newspaper delivery boys were held across the country on Oct. 21 -- "Newsboys Day and Newspaper Delivery Day."

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Results Released from 2nd NSK Readership Survey
-- Newspapers Seen As Familiar and "Homey" Media

NSK this June cibducted its second "Readership Survey on the Evaluation of Newspapers." The survey was aimed at finding out how readers see newspapers in terms of necessity, reliability, affection and affinity. The first survey was carried out in 1999. The latest survey was conducted over 11 days starting from June 8, by contacting 2,061 men and women aged 18 years or over, nationwide. A total of 1,463 people responded to the survey.

Of the respondents, 72.8 percent called newspapers an important source of information, while 72.0 percent said newspapers are indispensable for all adults, reflecting the broad acceptance of newspapers as a familiar media tool for everyday life.

A high 91.6 percent of the respondents said they subscribed to newspapers, and 78.8 percent said they strongly want to see home delivery continue. An additional 11.6 percent said they would prefer if it continued, bringing the overall support for home delivery to over 90 percent.

The time spent reading newspapers by respondents who subscribed to newspapers averaged 27.9 minutes a day. The older the reader, the longer they read the paper, on average. Women said they spent more time than men reading newspapers, according to the survey.

More than 50 percent of the respondents said they perceive what is written in newspapers as accurate. Over 50 percent also said that they were inclined to believe that newspapers were telling the truth and that newspaper reporting is based on the pursuit of facts. In particular, 63.0 percent said newspapers are providing information that should be shared by all members of society.

As in the first survey, the respondents rated newspapers as a readily-available and familiar media tool.

Newspaper Ad Data Archives Launched on the Web

The "Newspaper Ad Data Archives" Web site (www.pressmet.or.jp/adarc/) was launched on Oct. 19, to present organized data on newspaper advertising.

The Web site consists of three sections: (1) data on the characteristics and competitive edge of newspapers in the era of multimedia; (2) data about the communication level of newspapers in terms of five factors including access to readers, reading, contacts, degree of attention and response, and consumer behavior; and, (3) data on the role and effect of newspaper advertising classified into 11 categories including brand recognition, responses, timeliness and localization.

The Web site was prepared by the NSK Advertising Committee in the aim of building appreciation of the value of newspaper advertising among people in the advertising industry. The various data on the effectiveness of newspaper advertising include profiles of each newspaper's subscribers and other information assembled by the Advertising Committee. The committee has compiled the various data through a systematic approach that incorporates Internet links to similar data presented by each newspaper company on its own Web site.

For the convenience of the sponsors of newspaper advertisements that plan to use newspapers for publicity and advertising, as well as for media planning, the Web site publicizes the immense potential of Japan's newspapers. It covers the diverse functions of advertising from various perspectives by presenting data on aggregate newspaper circulation in excess of the nation's total households, the advantages of home delivery, the wide-ranging scope of business undertakings and the latest developments on the Internet.

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Have Repercussions on Japan's Media

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the subsequent developments have been closely monitored and extensively reported by Japan's media. In the wake of the attacks, each newspaper and broadcasting station formed a special news-reporting operation to provide extensive coverage of the news. On the morning of Sept. 12, all major national, local and English-language newspapers issued extra editions. The morning and evening editions of the newspapers were almost completely filled with news articles related to the terrorist attacks. Each TV station made a quick report on the breaking news of the first hijacked aircraft's crash into the World Trade Center and immediately switched to a special news program that lasted for many hours into the morning. NHK was the sole Japanese TV station to broadcast live the CNN-provided scenes of the second aircraft's impact. NHK continued to closely follow the developments with special news programs for more than one week. During that period, NHK went so far as to keep on running a tele-text update on related news while regular programs were broadcast.

In the wake of the retaliatory airstrikes on Afghanistan by the U.S. and Britain in the predawn hours of Oct. 8 (Japan Standard Time), the front lines for news coverage have extended from New York and Washington to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Each Japanese newspaper carried detailed reports on the airstrikes in the later editions of their Oct. 8 morning issues, while also issuing extras. Each major TV station reported the launches of the retaliatory raids through a tele-text update, followed by a special news program that lasted until almost 6 a.m. by canceling the broadcast of commercials. NHK switched to a special news program that continued until 12:40 p.m. Each TV station used the footage of the initial airstrikes on Afghanistan, provided by Al Jazeera, the satellite-based, Arabic-language commercial news broadcasting station in Qatar. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, each Japanese media organization set up a base for news-gathering in Islamabad, Pakistan, in preparation for the U.S. retaliation and sent reporters to Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Due to the terrorist attacks on the U.S., organizers postponed this year's Japan-U.S. journalists' exchange, which was to have lasted 18 days starting from Oct. 24. The visit to Washington, D.C., and New York City by a delegation of Japanese journalists, and the exchange visit to Japan by U.S. journalists has been rescheduled to early next year. A planned Japan-China journalists' exchange and a Japan-South Korea editors' seminar were both cancelled due to a smaller-than-expected turnout from media organizations that were mobilizing staff for the coverage of the Afghan Crisis.


Waseda University Announces Recipients of 1st Journalism Awards

Waseda University on Oct. 3 made its final selection for and announced the first recipients of the Waseda Journalism Awards, which the university created in memory of the late liberal journalist Tanzan Ishibashi, who was known for his staunch criticism of Japanese militarism during the last war. The university invited the public to participate in the awards, which are presented in three categories: public service, grass-roots democracy and cultural contributions. A total of 126 submissions were received for consideration for awards.

By category, the awards were granted to:

(for Public Service): Yasuhiro Miki, the late former director and chief editorial writer of the Kobe Shimbun, and the newspaper's office of editorial writers for their series of editorials and commentaries covering the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and the subsequent reconstruction of devastated areas;

(for Grass-Roots Democracy): Eiji Sone, news editor of Sanyo Broadcasting Co., for the special feature program, "The Graveyard on the Island," which deals with the illegal dumping of industrial waste on Teshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea;

(for Cultural Contributions): Kazuyoshi Sanada, news editor of the Mainichi Shimbun's Hokkaido Branch Office, for his investigative-report series that led to the major disclosure that a leading archeologist had fabricated his finds at ruins once thought to have dated back to the early Paleolithic Period about 600,000 years ago; as well as for his publication of the book, "Fake Excavations."

National Meeting of Mass Media Ethics Council Held on Oct. 4-5

The National Conference of the Mass Media Ethics Council held its 45th national convention in Miyazaki City on Oct. 4-5, on the theme, "Citizens' Common Sense and the Obligation of Mass Media."

A total of 266 representatives from 113 newspapers, news agencies, broadcasting stations, publishing houses and advertising agencies attended the convention. The gathering was divided into six sub-groups dealing with news reporting and advertising.

At the plenary session on the final day, the participants agreed to call for increased voluntary efforts to improve the ethical standards of the mass media, while categorically rejecting any moves to regulate the activities of the mass media. They also agreed to work for deeper mutual understanding with readers, viewers and listeners.

During the plenary session, convention host Kantaro Nagatomo, president of the Miyazaki Nichi-Nichi Shimbun, called on all media organizations to unite against the increasing moves by the authorities to regulate the activities of the mass media on the pretext of protecting people victimized by the mass media. But he also warned media organizations that they should do some earnest soul-searching in examining the events that led to the current situation.

At the sub-groups, participants discussed issues including the government's moves to tighten regulations on the mass media, the focus on youth by the mass media, proper news reporting on criminal cases and accidents, and problems related to the news coverage of terrorist attacks.

Mass Media Society Fetes 50th Anniversary

The Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communications marked its 50th anniversary with a two-day ceremony and fall presentation meeting in Tokyo on Oct. 7-8, and a symposium in Kyoto on Oct. 9. A total of 501 people attended the events.

At the presentation session on historical research, titled, "The 50-Year History of the Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communications," participants focused to future developments the Internet and in research.

At the symposium, titled, "Media, Government and Power," at which foreign researchers made presentations, Ivor Gaber, honorary professor of the University of London, spoke on the Northern Ireland dispute and its news coverage. Noting that the number of victims in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States was much larger than the total victims of terrorism over the past 30 years, he warned that news-reporting activities should be conducted in a way that does not instigate further terrorist acts.

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