NHK WORLD

The Dawn of Overseas Broadcasting

Major developments in international broadcasting The Dawn of Overseas Broadcasting

1935[International Broadcasting Begins in Japan]-1940s

Major developments in international broadcasting  1935[International Broadcasting Begins in Japan in]-1940s

1950s-70s

Major developments in international broadcasting 1950s-70s

1980s-90s

Major developments in international broadcasting 1980s-90s

2000-2015

Major developments in international broadcasting 2000-2015

2009-2010 Heisei21-22

24-Hour All-English News Channel
StartsNew “NEWSLINE”

CHRONICLE  >  2009–2010 >  24-Hour All-English News Channel Starts  | NHK WORLD TV Begins Live Streaming

Tables of major events

’09
  • 2. Live streaming of NHK WORLD TV begins.
  • 2/2. NHK WORLD TV achieves 24-hour English service (from new studio).
  • CCTV’s overseas services increase to the 6 UN official languages.
’10
  • 2/12~28. Vancouver Olympics
  • 5/1~10/31. Shanghai Expo
  • 6/13. Japanese Asteroid Probe Hayabusa returns after 7 years.
  • 9/7. Chinese fishing boat collides with Japanese patrol boats off Senkaku Islands.
  • 11/13. In Myanmar,Aung San Suu Kyi released from house arrest.
  • 11/23. Tension grows after North Korea bombs Yeonpyeong.
  • “Arab Spring” prodemocracy movement in Middle East
  • China’s GDP 2nd largest in world.

More

ENGLISH NEWS FROM A NEW STUDIO AROUND THE CLOCK

In February 2009, a new “NEWSLINE” went on the air. It was the flagship news program of NHK WORLD TV, the international TV broadcasting service for foreign viewers. Every hour around the clock, the first half hour was devoted to news, and the second half to other programs. It was the start of a full-fledged English news channel.

“Your Eye on Asia”

Broadcasting news every hour on the hour (photo of studio control room of NHK WORLD Dept.).

Broadcasting news every hour on the hour (photo of studio control room of NHK WORLD Dept.).

“ASIAN VOICES,” a debate program with experts from various countries on issues in Asia and the rest of the world.

“ASIAN VOICES,” a debate program with experts from various countries on issues in Asia and the rest of the world.

“J-TECH” introduces technology unique to smaller companies in Japan (Started in Feb. 2009).

“J-TECH” introduces technology unique to smaller companies in Japan (Started in Feb. 2009).

In February 2009, NHK WORLD TV carried out a major programming revision. It started a 24-hour English news channel, broadcasting from a new studio built in the NHK Broadcasting Center.

Its catchphrase was “Your Eye on Asia,” and its main program was “NEWSLINE.” It reported news in English every hour on the hour for 24 hours a day. It used its networks in and out of Japan to offer rich content. With its emphasis on Asia, it built up news coverage systems, sending live reports from studios in Bangkok and Beijing.

The new channel also reported promptly the moves of the global economy. It reported from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and provided analysts’ views from Hong Kong, New York and elsewhere.

It also offered extensive information on Japan. For a 2009 general election that brought about a historic change of government, it organized a special program to air prompt reports on election returns for the first time in its overseas broadcasting service.

For making and sending news programs, it used an advanced non-linear tapeless system to ensure efficient operation. In December 2009, NHK WORLD TV renewed its television operating equipment and introduced a high-definition system (HD) for the first time.

News for 30 Minutes, Various Programs for the Other 30

For 30 minutes after the news, the channel aired various programs on Japan and other parts of Asia. It divided each day into six sections of four hours each and offered programs in various fields for each. In February 2009, it started “J-TECH” to introduce technology unique to smaller firms in Japan. Sixteen programs were made specifically for foreign viewers, exceeding for the first time the channel’s 13 domestic programs translated into English.

JIB (Japan International Broadcasting) started to have its own slots once a week.

First Day of 24-Hour English News
Catherine Kobayashi, “NEWSLINE” Anchor.

Catherine Kobayashi, “NEWSLINE” Anchor.

It was shortly before 9 a.m. Japan time. I was sitting in the anchor chair of the new studio. Dozens of staff members were peering through the glass walls. I was wearing red to elevate my confidence on what was a historic day. I felt nervous, but ready. The top story was the eruption of Mount Asama. Seconds before air time, a producer noticed the script didn’t mention the location. I quickly scrawled “Japan.” Fortunately, the first broadcast was smooth from start to finish. But we had no time to celebrate. The next program was thirty minutes away.

Every day, I ask myself who our audience is. And every hour, I aim to deliver the news accurately and reliably. Oh, and I still often wear red...for good luck.

NHK WORLD TV Begins Live StreamingYour Eye on Asia

SENDING LATEST INFORMATION ON JAPAN AND ASIA TO THE WORLD

Viewable to 210 Million Households

11/23/2010. Tension intensified between North and South Korea after the bombing of Yeonpyeong.

11/23/2010. Tension intensified between North and South Korea after the bombing of Yeonpyeong.

9/7/2010. A Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese Coast Guard patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands. <Japanese government provided>

9/7/2010. A Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese Coast Guard patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands. <Japanese government provided>

11/14/2010. Aung San Suu Kyi waving to her supporters in front of the headquarters of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar.

11/14/2010. Aung San Suu Kyi waving to her supporters in front of the headquarters of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar.

NHK and its subsidiary, JIB, worked to enlarge and improve distribution services. At the end of fiscal 2010, NHK WORLD TV was viewable to more than 210 million households, including those in the U.S. that could get the service at certain hours.

Distributing on Web, While on Air

Following radio, NHK WORLD TV began live streaming of its broadcasts in February 2009. English news and other programs that posed no copyright problems were offered on NHK WORLD ONLINE, the official website, while they were on the air. In February 2010, the channel released smartphone applications. NHK WORLD ONLINE’s total page views increased from 78 million in fiscal 2009 to 99 million in fiscal 2010.

RADIO JAPAN Entering New Media

In 2009, Radio Japan began broadcasting on medium and FM waves in addition to short waves. This was the start of its entry into new media.

Birth of 24-Hour English Channel from Japan

The concept of 24-hour English news was “to report on Japan and Asia to the world, as they are.” With its solid networks, NHK is strong in covering Asia. We considered this our advantage in the competitive world of international broadcasting. Correspondents and local reporters sent reports in English. We also used the Internet and telephone circuits in our relays to prepare for emergency reporting.

We made news and other programs on not only politics and economy but also people’s thoughts and wishes. Our careful way of editing images was popular. We believe we have created a channel that is unique in the world. We hope our work will serve people in developing countries and the rest of the world in their quest for a better future.

(Makoto Harada, former head of International Planning & Broadcasting Dept.)

All Japan to Support International Broadcasting

The 2007 amendment to the Broadcast Law set NHK WORLD TV in motion. Under the law, NHK was to launch a subsidiary to be funded by not only NHK and related bodies, but also commercial broadcasters, trade and investment firms, banks, information-technology companies and so on. This led to the birth of Japan International Broadcasting. Commissioned by NHK, JIB makes, edits and transmits programs and works to improve distribution.

JIB also has its own slots in NHK WORLD TV, and airs a few programs a week based on advertising fees from companies, organizations and the central and local governments. Its programs have good points of their own, such as that they allow corporate leaders to say what they really think. The biggest characteristic is that JIB airs commercials before and after programs. NHK airs none; it is funded by receiving fees. In Japan, the value of international TV broadcasting as a commercial medium is not yet fully recognized. So there are few sponsors. Finding more will require marketing efforts by JIB. That will make this broadcasting truly an all-Japan project.