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NSK News Bulletin Online
October 2007
* Yomiuri°«s Watanabe, Asahi°«s Nakae win Newspaper Culture Awards
* NSK Announces 2007 Awards
* Asahi, Yomiuri, Nikkei to Collaborate in Distribution, Internet site
* Sankei Unveils °∆Web-first°… Policy for MS-Sankei News Site
* Mainichi opens new Web site
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--Pupils make °»Postcard Newspapers°… for Elderly
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Yomiuri°«s Watanabe, Asahi°«s Nakae win Newspaper Culture Awards

NSK on Sept. 5 named Tsuneo Watanabe, chairman of the board and editor-in-chief of Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, and Toshitada Nakae, former president of the Asahi Shimbun, as winners of Newspaper Culture Awards.

The fiscal 2007 awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 60th National Newspaper Convention, in Nagano City, on Oct. 16.

The Newspaper Culture Award was set up in 1951 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the social and cultural development of the nation through journalistic work and/or newspaper business management. The award was last given in 1995, to Tomoo Hirooka, the former president of the Asahi Shimbun. The latest two recipients will bring to 21 the total number of people ever to win the award.

The association said that Watanabe, 81, has greatly contributed to the growth of the Yomiuri Shimbun for more than half a century as a reporter and an executive officer, while simultaneously devoting himself to the development and stabilization of the nation°«s newspaper industry. He has demonstrated strong leadership in establishing his company°«s editorial philosophy and has also worked actively to promote a reading culture to maintain and elevate Japan°«s culture while promoting public understanding throughout the nation of the role of newspapers in a democratic society, it said.

NSK also praised his success as NSK chairman (1999-2003) in preserving the newspaper resale price maintenance system, the government-regulated standardization of the price of any given newspaper nationwide that is vital to the survival of newspaper businesses, and in establishing a new Cannon of Journalism for the purpose of further elevating newspaper ethics into the 21st century.

According to the association, Nakae, 77, contributed greatly to protecting the freedom of the press and to improving newspaper ethics as a leading editorial staffer and management official of the Asahi Shimbun. He was also praised for his achievements as NSK chairman (1991-1995) in preserving the newspaper resale price maintenance system and in normalizing newspaper sales activities for the sake of preserving the public nature and cultural heritage of newspapers in a rapidly changing environment at home and abroad. Nakae also worked hard to help readers deepen their understanding of the role of newspapers, for instance, by establishing an NSK Committee for the Reinforcement of Newspaper Media. He also acted energetically within such international organizations as the International Press Institute (IPI) and by promoting exchanges with foreign newspaper industries, thereby helping to boost the international recognition of Japan°«s newspaper industry, according to NSK.

Profile of Tsuneo Watanabe

Watanabe was born on May 30, 1926, in Tokyo.He graduated from the Department of Philosophy, in the Faculty of Literature, at the University of Tokyo and joined the Yomiuri Shimbun in 1950.
After serving as a reporter in the political division, the chief of the Washington D.C. Bureau, political editor and a deputy managing editor, he was appointed a director and chief editorial writer in 1979.
Later, he was promoted to become a managing director, a senior managing director, editor in chief and a vice president. He has been chairman and editor in chief since January 2004.
Watanabe served as a director on the NSK Board from 1988 to 2003, and was chairman of the Board from 1999 to 2003.

Profile of Toshitada Nakae

Nakae was born on Oct. 4, 1929, in Chiba Prefecture.
He graduated from the Department of Sociology, in the Faculty of Literature, at the University of Tokyo and joined the Asahi Shimbun in 1953.
After serving as business editor at the Nagoya head office, an editorial writer, and business editor at the Tokyo head office, he was appointed managing editor of the Tokyo head office in December 1978, a director in 1982, and president in 1989. He has been an adviser to the company since June 2005.
Nakae served as a director of the NSK Board from 1989 to 1996, and was chairman from 1991 to 1995.

NSK Announces 2007 Awards

NSK on Sept. 5 released the names of the recipients of its annual awards - four in the editorial division, one in technology and two in business/management. The awards ceremony will be held at the 60th National Newspaper Convention in Nagano City on Oct. 16.

It is the first time since 1996 that the association has nominated recipients for awards in all three eligible divisions.

NSK set up the awards in 1957 to honor remarkable performances at NSK member companies in the editorial, business/management and technology fields. The awards are intended to promote the authoritativeness and credibility of the newspaper industry, wire services and broadcasters.

There were 72 names proposed for consideration for editorial awards, two for the technology awards and seven for business/management awards. After preliminary recommendations by subcommittees for each division, the selection committee met on Sept. 5 to examine four finalists in the editorial division, one in the technology division, and two in the business/management division. It approved all seven recommended awards.

The technology division has a winner for a third consecutive year, while the business/management division awards are being issued for the first time in five years.

The winners are:

(Editorial Division) - 4 awards:

Yasushi Sasatani, of the editorial division of the Kitanippon Shimbun°«s Takaoka branch, for a scoop in the newspaper°«s Oct. 24, 2006, morning issue, on the failure of high school students at a local senior high school to meet the required course load due to greater emphasis placed by their school on reading them for university entrance exams. The story led to revelations of similar problems at high schools all over the country and added fresh fuel to the debate on the government°«s education reforms.

Junichiro Nagasawa, of the news division in the editorial department of the Mainichi Shimbun°«s West Japan head office, for photos on the shooting to death on April 19, 2007 of the mayor of Nagasaki in the midst of his re-election campaign - an unprecedented act against a politician in Japan.

A Shinano Mainichi Shimbun task force, represented by Akio Koichi, deputy city news editor in the editorial department, for a long series titled °»The Rising Up of the Common People,°… on how to revitalize a local economy and community from the perspectives of local people.

A Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) task force, represented by Taichi Nakajima, a deputy chief of the city news division of the news center, for two NHK Special feature programs on the plight of people in deep poverty in the midst of Japan's affluent society, which spread the newly coined words °»working poor°… nationwide.

(Technology Division) - 1 award:

The Nishi-Nippon Shimbun°«s special headquarters, for the introduction of a new editorial system -- led by Masami Yano, head of the integrated processing management office and chief of the special headquarters. For the successful development and introduction of an innovative editorial IT system to deliver on the concept of °»multiple utilization of a single (news) source,°… encompassing the management of editorial contents, layout of print editions, database archiving and delivery of news to mobile units and the Web.

(Business/Management Division) - 2 awards:

The To-O Nippo, represented by Takao Shiokoshi, president and editor in chief, for the launch of innovative services to deliver moving and audio news from QR code in the paper to mobile phone users in an attempt to attract younger generations to print media.

The Shizuoka Shimbun, represented by Masahisa Suzuki, a deputy managing editor, and Haruhiko Watanabe, chief of the president°«s office and head of the management strategy promotion division, for a press campaign to arouse children°«s interest in science and the launch of a °»science edition for kids.°…

Asahi, Yomiuri, Nikkei to Collaborate in Distribution, Internet site

The Asahi Shimbun Co., Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings and Nikkei Inc. agreed on Oct. 1 to collaborate on a free Web site and to share their distribution networks in remote areas. The nation°«s three leading newspapers also agreed to help each other in newspaper production in the event of a disaster.

In forming their unprecedented major business tie-up in the domestic newspaper industry, the three newspaper companies said they would aim at providing news promptly and accurately, presenting diverse opinions, and at further developing the newspaper business.

Asahi Shimbun President Kotaro Akiyama, Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings President Hitoshi Uchiyama and Nikkei President Ryoki Sugita announced the tie-up at a news conference in Tokyo.

At the start of the news conference, Nikkei°«s Sugita said, °»Through the joint projects, we hope to increase the power of newspapers as the most reliable source of information in this era of increasingly-diversified media, and we also want to provide accurate and prompt news, as well as diverse opinions to accomplish our role in society.°…

According to the announcement, the three companies will undertake joint delivery services in sparsely populated areas to allow readers to continue receiving home delivery. Due to the aging population, the concentration of population in urban centers and the depopulation of rural areas, it is becoming harder and harder for individual newspaper companies to maintain remote home-delivery services, Asahi°«s Akiyama said.

The Asahi and Yomiuri have already been testing joint delivery services on an experimental basis in more than 10 areas in Hokkaido. The Asahi has asked the Yomiuri to expand the collaboration in delivery services to other parts of the country on a phased basis, industry sources said.

According to the agreement, the joint delivery services will serve remote rural areas, as well as some urban areas with few subscribers. Aside from Hokkaido, parts of Osaka City and Kagoshima Prefecture are cited as possible areas for joint delivery services.

The three companies said that they would welcome the participation of other national newspapers, regional or local newspapers in the planned delivery services. The Yomiuri°«s Uchiyama said that cooperation in low density areas is necessary to maintain the newspaper home-delivery system for the long term. °»Our joint project is aimed neither at driving out rival newspapers nor at reducing the number of newspaper sales agencies,°… he said.

Nikkei°«s Sugita said that despite the tie-up, each company°«s sales policy will be fully honored, while adhering to each company°«s conventional policy of maintaining relations of broader cooperation with other companies.

In the Internet business, the three print media giants will open a joint news Web site to provide services that cannot be dealt with individually. By joining forces, the companies aim to enhance the value of their news, analysis and commentaries among Internet users.

A vast majority of news contents in circulation on the Internet are attributed to reporters of newspaper companies, and the joint project aims at raising public awareness of the role newspapers play in Internet society. Nikkei°«s Sugita said, °»By opening a joint Web site, we would like to enhance our presence on the Internet as a true disseminator of news.°… He added that the three companies would welcome the participation of other newspapers in the project.

The joint news Web site, which will start in early 2008, will carry principal news items and editorials from all three papers so that users can compare them at a glance.

The free Web site will be operated by a jointly funded organization. The companies count on ad revenues to provide the principal funds to operate the Web site, which might cost several hundreds of millions of yen a year. The cost would be evenly shared by the three companies, which plan to make it a profitable operation within three years.

Each paper's respective news site will continue to provide services. Regarding the distribution of news contents to existing portal sites, the Yomiuri°«s Uchiyama said he has no immediate plan to suspend distribution to Yahoo°«s portal site.

Sankei Unveils °∆Web-first°… Policy for MS-Sankei News Site

Sankei Digital Inc., a subsidiary of the Sankei Shimbun, and Microsoft Corporation's Japan office on Oct. 1 launched a news Web site named °»MSN-Sankei News.°…

The Sankei Shimbun will provide news contents to the site under a °»Web-first°… editorial policy in which scoops and other breaking news will be posted on the Web site without waiting for the editorial deadlines of the print newspaper. To this end, the Sankei has reorganized the operation of its newsrooms and has integrated the operations for print and online versions.

To prepare for the launch of the new Web site, the Sankei created the post of online news editor in August. Four editors are to deal with the news in rotation for both print and online media.

In announcing the launch of the Web site at a news conference on Sept. 25, Sankei President Nagayoshi Sumida declared that the Sankei will pursue a °»Web-first°… editorial policy. °»It is not a matter of choosing between print and online. We just want to accomplish the mission of a news organization in the Internet age,°… he said.

He also said that he would like to eliminate the high and thick walls between the print newspaper and the Web site, while seeking a drastic change in the mindset of many reporters. The Sankei will strive to pursue a °»Web-perfect°… policy to operate the Web site featuring not only the prompt delivery of news, but also an abundance of high-quality editorial contents, he said.

Masami Abe, president of Sankei Digital, told the news conference that the Web-first policy will be the norm for the new site, with the sole exception of embargoed criminal cases such as kidnappings.

The new site is to categorize items of higher interest into more than 200 topics with access to related information and links provided.

Tetsugi Kondo, a director of Sankei Digital, said that the editorial contents posted on the new Web site will stay there for at least six months, in principle, instead of the current two months, with some contents allowed to remain indefinitely. He also said that the Web site will carry the full texts of any important court sentences and speeches as well as remarks made by key politicians at news conferences.

On Oct. 1, the Sankei also started two series of feature articles, titled °»What the Internet has changed°… and °»The events of the century, as witnessed by reporters,°… exclusively for the Web site. Parts of the series will be carried by the Sankei°«s print newspaper later.

The Web site was jointly operated by Microsoft and the Mainichi Shimbun till the end of September, with the Mainichi providing the editorial contents. The Sankei has become Microsoft°«s new partner in jointly operating the Web site.

Mainichi opens new Web site

The Mainichi Shimbun on Oct. 1 started to operate its own information and news Web site.
In addition to news contents, the new site is to carry lifestyle information in a tie-up with All About Inc., an Internet information provider and goods marketer backed by investors including Yahoo Japan Corp. and Recruit Co.

The aim is to keep the new site °»open°… to everyone, so Mainichi plans to team up with renowned bloggers.

In announcing the launch of the new Web site at a news conference on Sept. 18, Yutaka Asahina, a managing director of the Mainichi Shimbun, said that the company has learned a lot from its three-and-a-half year tie-up with Microsoft Corp. in jointly operating the Web site. The new site will aim at providing diverse information and becoming an especially reliable information source for Internet users, he said. The Mainichi°«s tie-up with Microsoft ended at the end of September.

In the new Mainichi site, information is broken down into three main categories - news, entertainment and lifestyles. It also recommends that its readers have a look at the writings of renowned bloggers in diverse fields and seek their participation in the new site. In order to boost ad revenues, the Mainichi will cooperate directly with All About.

According to the Mainichi, the Web site, MSN-Mainichi Interactive, operated jointly by Mainichi and Microsoft, recorded 30 million to 40 million page views a month. With the termination of the tie-up with Microsoft, the page views of the new Mainichi site may fall by about half over the short term, Mainichi officials said, adding that the level would rebound to the previous range within two years.


Pupils make °»Postcard Newspapers°… for Elderly

Pupils wrote °»postcard newspapers°… for the aged at nursing homes in an experimental project on Sept. 12 at a class in a Tokyo public elementary school.

The unique experiment was held at the No. 7 Kodaira Municipal Elementary School by utilizing a °»comprehensive studies°… class. The Newspaper in Education (NIE) drive is gaining popularity as a study program that matches the aims of °»comprehensive studies°… classes.

The pupils were asked by their woman teacher, Mayumi Saito, to write a short article with a headline about the postcards, congratulating the prospective recipients for their long lifespan -- the elderly at local special nursing care homes, and inviting them to the school°«s athletic meet (see photo). A total of 20 schoolteachers turned out to observe the class.

After the class, Saito and the participating teachers held a study session. Saito said that it was much easier for younger pupils, who are not good at writing, to think of a short message to write on a postcard.

Masayoshi Yoshinari, a former schoolteacher who represents the newly established Newspaper in Education (NIE) Support Center, told the study session that NIE is a useful tool to help children nurture their reading comprehension capacity. He also outlined some successful cases in which newspapers have been used as educational materials for °»comprehensive studies°… classes at schools.

The NIE Support Center was set up in July to support NIE use in school activities. Former newspaper reporters and schoolteachers are to participate in person in future sessions.

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

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