Reporting on Japan and World NowGETTING “NEWSLINE” ON AIR
Covering, Producing and
“NEWSLINE” is the core news program of NHK WORLD TV. It broadcasts news in English every hour on the hour for 24 hours a day. It consists of the English versions of domestic news and feature programs, and increasingly more reports specifically for foreign viewers.
Outline of Services ＞ NHK WORLD TV(3)
DOING EVEN MORE TO COVER NEWS AND MAKE PROGRAMS FOR FOREIGN VIEWERS
Broadcasting Abroad Around the Clock
NEWSLINE” airs news for 28 minutes every hour on the hour on weekdays and ten minutes on weekends. It can be viewed at about 280 million homes around the world. To get the program on the air, people work in three shifts a day. Each shift has reporters, directors, image editors and desk editors on the Japanese side, and anchors and rewriters on the English native speaker side.
Expanding News with Its Own Perspectives
Its news is mostly English versions of reports for domestic viewers filed by NHK’s broadcasting stations in Japan and its overseas general bureaus. But reports by NHK’s international broadcasting unit are increasing every year.
One example is reports on the sinking of a South Korean ferry. When the Sewol began to sink off the coast in April 2014, the international news team joined hands with a South Korean production firm and sent the first report of the accident from the site. An NHK reporter kept providing updates on the tragedy, as details were announced by an accident headquarters. NHK’s team led the way in reporting the tragedy to the world.
The international team also did its own reports on a general election in India, a prodemocracy demonstration in Hong Kong, etc. It reported the latest developments of these events in live reports or special programs for an international audience.
In Action 1: Covering
NHK’s international broadcasting unit is doing more to cover news on its own for overseas viewers from its own perspective. The proportion of such reporting in NHK WORLD’s news is increasing every year.
In Action 2: Producing
To broadcast around the clock, staff members work in three shifts. They consist of Japanese reporters, directors, image editors and desk editors and native English-speaking newscasters and rewriters.
NHK WORLD with Limitless Possibilities
Craig Dale came to NHK from the Canada Broadcasting Corporation in 2010 as an advisor on the content of “NEWSLINE.” In 2014, when his contract expired, he resigned from the CBC, and decided to remain with NHK as a free lancer.
“If I had returned to the CBC, I could have become a senior producer. But I preferred my work at NHK. Here, I can advise on NHK’s overall reporting on ever-changing Asia, from coverage to production of on-the-spot reports. What a job!”
But when he first came to Japan, he sometimes invited misunderstanding through his frank way of speaking. He does appreciate the Japanese way of seeking harmony. But he says people need to change their way of thinking to make “NEWSLINE” a better program.
“People need to think more about how they can make their reports more interesting to foreign viewers. News for foreign viewers should be different from that for domestic viewers. You need to look at what’s happening in Japan with more detached eyes. With such a perspective, you should think hard about what makes news and why. NHK WORLD has limitless possibilities. There is still much more that you should and can do to make it better.
TO BE A RELIABLE BROADCASTER
How to Report on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Reporting on sinking of South Korean ferry Sewol.
Interviewing atomic-bomb survivor in Hiroshima.
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
NHK WORLD has been covering ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki held every summer to commemorate the terrors and tragedies caused by the atomic-bomb attacks in August 1945 and to pray for a world without nuclear weapons.
In 2014, with an expanded team and equipment, NHK WORLD reported all day from a primary school near the epicenter in Hiroshima and a riverside where people release tiny floats with candles onto a river in a ceremony for the souls of the victims. And it reported the thoughts of aging survivors and the voices of foreign visitors on the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Faster, More Accurate, With More Perspectives
NHK WORLD kept in mind one perspective, prevalent in some countries, that Japan was considered an aggressor before the end of World War II. So NHK WORLD avoided stressing only the tragic side of the bombings. It reported from outside perspectives, too. What was it that ultimately led to the bombings? And in what ways have Hiroshima and Nagasaki contributed to the international community?
2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. As the only nation in the world to have suffered atomic bombings, Japan needs to send a message to the world against nuclear weapons and for peace with deeper perspectives.
To Report Not Just Charms but Challenges of Japan
NHK WORLD is introducing to the world various charms of Japan such as its traditional arts, tourism, cuisine, anime and state-of-the-art technology. But it also needs to report on its challenges and problems. This is essential to be trusted as a broadcaster.
One good example is its reports on the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. NHK WORLD attracted world attention by closely reporting on damage done by the earthquake and tsunami, rescue and relief activities, and reconstruction work after the disasters.
Global attention was focused on the accident at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima at that time and measures taken to mitigate the effects of radioactive contamination. Many reporting teams came from abroad. NHK WORLD has been covering environmental damage and how it’s been dealt with. It considers this essential to prevent groundless rumors and to seek necessary support.
NHK WORLD Gathering News on its Own
On June 2011, three months after the earthquake, NHK WORLD TV began a feature called “Nuclear Watch” on “NEWSLINE” to report developments after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It was proposed by the then head of the Science & Culture Division of NHK’s News Department, Akira Honbo.
Honbo said, “Japan needs support and cooperation from abroad. But not much information is reaching overseas. We need to send accurate information in English to the world.”
At first, “Nuclear Watch” featured a commentary by a reporter of the Science & Culture Division with a simultaneous interpreter. But as overseas attention grew, many viewers called for reports from the accident site. So, in the second year, it switched to on-the-spot reports.
One report attracted particular attention. A Tokyo Electric Power Company official was answering in English questions about decommissioning the affected nuclear reactors. Many media used the report. This was followed by stories on water contaminated with radioactivity, working conditions of employees and visits inside the plant. NHK WORLD continues to report to the world the challenges of nuclear power generation.