NIRA Research Report No. 19990129
The Analysis of Japanese Media From the Viewpoint of Global Standards
With the rapid growth of TV technology, such as satellite TV and cable TV, which is called "hardware," information can be sent and received through media, transcending nation and culture. In contrast, the "software" of media, such as program content or content reading has been slow to develop in Japan. This has been mainly due to the indifference toward media literacy education, which help to foster the ability to read between the lines of content, and also to the failure of media content utilization policies.
TV programs from September 16 through 18, 72 consecutive hours in all, were recorded in Japan, the UK and the US. The recorded programs were analyzed comparatively and some directives for the future were discussed.
The Japanese gatekeepers handled only a few overseas events within news programs. This owes to the news provision stance and the facilities available to make overseas news available on the Japanese side. As for news presentation, newscasters in the UK conspicuously refrain from making individual comments, while such cannot be said of the Japanese, who should overthink such practices. Promoting the research on the content of media, Japan is highly expected to build up facilities which allow researchers access to the program content.
Concerning entertainment programs, audiences have little opportunity to participate in programs in Japan. The implication of such a situation is that the audience may become passive recepients of media, and accept media content without critical judgement. It is urgently necessary for Japanese audiences to become aware of the need for, and to acquire media literacy.
Commercials, which occupy about 20 percent of the air time on Japanese TV, is superior in both picture quality and expressive functions, relative to UK and US commercials. The commercial message (CM) plays the role of transmitting social heritage such as cultural norms, values, customs and traditions to all members of society, from generation to generation, but is sometimes imposing upon the audience. Japanese audiences tend not to critically judge such messages, and again, they need to obtain a more critical perspective.
Recently television violence has been a major topic of media policy. What is so-called the "Vchip" has been introduced in the US. Japan, on the other hand, has not taken on any solid stance toward such measures. Much more research, academic in nature, needed to understand the effects of TV on societal violence and human behavior.
Based upon what have been done so far, as discussed in details in final chapter, the followings are considerations to overcome the present problems: 1) To establish a data bank, to allow researchers access to various information regarding television program content, such as the one offered by Vanderbuilt University in the US, which regularly stores news of the three major networks; 2) To establish an educational program regarding media literacy, which will provide audiences the ability to critically judge media content (this is especially crucial in the higher education sector); 3) To establish a new academic discipline to train media professionals. In particular, nations like the UK and US, who are advanced in media research, are currently experimenting with the possibility of the combination of various academic departments in order to establish a comprehensive media research perspective.
[ Back ]
National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA) Home Page
Copyright (c) National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA)