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2009年5月30日 (土)

ニューヨークタイムズも日本の検察とメディアを批判

前のエントリに書いた2009/5/29のニューヨークタイムズの記事の原文を下記に転載しておく(ここより)。

この記事の題名は「スキャンダル報道で、メディアはリーク垂れ流しの責めを負う」(In Reporting a Scandal, the Media Are Accused of Just Listening)というものだが、まさに、これから日本のマスメディアは「試練」を迎えることになるだろう。検察も。

この記事では、日本のマスメディアは、"watchdogs on authority"(権力に対する監視役)ではなくて、まるで"authority's guard dogs"(権力に雇われた番犬)のようだ、と書かれている(日本の学者の言葉としてだが)。

“The news media should be watchdogs on authority,” said Yasuhiko Tajima, a journalism professor at Sophia University in Tokyo, “but they act more like authority’s guard dogs.”

また、この記事では、この事件については社民党の保坂展人議員が「小沢氏は、検察を含む強力な官僚機構の削減を民主党の選挙公約としたために、検察によって選ばれた」というストーリーを信じていると述べているが、このストーリーについて、タイム誌が東京地検にインタビューを申し込んだところ、東京地検は、「タイム誌は、東京地検の記者クラブのメンバーではない」という理由で撥ね付けた、とも書かれている。

He said he believed Mr. Ozawa was singled out because of the Democratic Party’s campaign pledges to curtail Japan’s powerful bureaucrats, including the prosecutors. (The Tokyo prosecutors office turned down an interview request for this story because The Times is not in its press club.)

今回の民主党代表(当時)の小沢氏の秘書を(専門家から見ても当然だろうが)素人目から見ても無理筋の政治資金規正法違反(虚偽記載)で逮捕・起訴した検察の異常さとそれを盲信・盲従したマスコミの愚かさは、徐々に、海外でも注目されてきているようだ。

※追記(2009/5/31): こちらのページ(カナダde日本語)に全文の和訳が載っています。

In Reporting a Scandal, the Media Are Accused of Just Listening

TOKYO — When Tokyo prosecutors arrested an aide to a prominent opposition political leader in March, they touched off a damaging scandal just as the entrenched Liberal Democratic Party seemed to face defeat in coming elections. Many Japanese cried foul, but you would not know that from the coverage by Japan’s big newspapers and television networks.

Instead, they mostly reported at face value a stream of anonymous allegations, some of them thinly veiled leaks from within the investigation, of illegal campaign donations from a construction company to the opposition leader, Ichiro Ozawa. This month, after weeks of such negative publicity, Mr. Ozawa resigned as head of the opposition Democratic Party.

The resignation, too, provoked a rare outpouring of criticism aimed at the powerful prosecutors by Japanese across the political spectrum, and even from some former prosecutors, who seldom criticize their own in public. The complaints range from accusations of political meddling to concerns that the prosecutors may have simply been insensitive to the arrest’s timing.

But just as alarming, say scholars and former prosecutors, has been the failure of the news media to press the prosecutors for answers, particularly at a crucial moment in Japan’s democracy, when the nation may be on the verge of replacing a half-century of Liberal Democratic rule with more competitive two-party politics.

“The mass media are failing to tell the people what is at stake,” said Terumasa Nakanishi, a conservative scholar who teaches international politics at Kyoto University. “Japan could be about to lose its best chance to change governments and break its political paralysis, and the people don’t even know it.”

The arrest seemed to confirm fears among voters that Mr. Ozawa, a veteran political boss, was no cleaner than the Liberal Democrats he was seeking to replace. It also seemed to at least temporarily derail the opposition Democrats ahead of the elections, which must be called by early September. The party’s lead in opinion polls was eroded, though its ratings rebounded slightly after the selection this month of a new leader, Yukio Hatoyama, a Stanford-educated engineer.

Japanese journalists acknowledge that their coverage so far has been harsh on Mr. Ozawa and generally positive toward the investigation, though newspapers have run opinion pieces criticizing the prosecutors. But they bridle at the suggestion that they are just following the prosecutors’ lead, or just repeating information leaked to them.

“The Asahi Shimbun has never run an article based solely on a leak from prosecutors,” the newspaper, one of Japan’s biggest dailies, said in a written reply to questions from The New York Times.

Still, journalists admit that their coverage could raise questions about the Japanese news media’s independence, and not for the first time. Big news organizations here have long been accused of being too cozy with centers of power.

Indeed, scholars say coverage of the Ozawa affair echoes the positive coverage given to earlier arrests of others who dared to challenge the establishment, like the iconoclastic Internet entrepreneur Takafumi Horie.

“The news media should be watchdogs on authority,” said Yasuhiko Tajima, a journalism professor at Sophia University in Tokyo, “but they act more like authority’s guard dogs.”

While news media in the United States and elsewhere face similar criticisms of being too close to government, the problem is more entrenched here. Cozy ties with government agencies are institutionalized in Japan’s so-called press clubs, cartel-like arrangements that give exclusive access to members, usually large domestic news outlets.

Critics have long said this system leads to bland reporting that adheres to the official line. Journalists say they maintain their independence despite the press clubs. But they also say government officials sometimes try to force them to toe the line with threats of losing access to information.

Last month, the Tokyo Shimbun, a smaller daily known for coverage that is often feistier than that in Japan’s large national newspapers, was banned from talking with Tokyo prosecutors for three weeks after printing an investigative story about a governing-party lawmaker who had received donations from the same company linked to Mr. Ozawa.

The newspaper said it was punished simply for reporting something the prosecutors did not want made public. “Crossing the prosecutors is one of the last media taboos,” said Haruyoshi Seguchi, the paper’s chief reporter in the Tokyo prosecutors’ press club.

The news media’s failure to act as a check has allowed prosecutors to act freely without explaining themselves to the public, said Nobuto Hosaka, a member of Parliament for the opposition Social Democratic Party, who has written extensively about the investigation on his blog.

He said he believed Mr. Ozawa was singled out because of the Democratic Party’s campaign pledges to curtail Japan’s powerful bureaucrats, including the prosecutors. (The Tokyo prosecutors office turned down an interview request for this story because The Times is not in its press club.)

Japanese journalists defended their focus on the allegations against Mr. Ozawa, arguing that the public needed to know about a man who at the time was likely to become Japan’s next prime minister. They also say they have written more about Mr. Ozawa because of a pack-like charge among reporters to get scoops on those who are the focus of an investigation.

“There’s a competitive rush to write as much as we can about a scandal,” said Takashi Ichida, who covers the Tokyo prosecutors office for the Asahi Shimbun. But that does not explain why in this case so few Japanese reporters delved deeply into allegations that the company also sent money to Liberal Democratic lawmakers.

The answer, as most Japanese reporters will acknowledge, is that following the prosecutors’ lead was easier than risking their wrath by doing original reporting.

The news media can seem so unrelentingly supportive in their reporting on investigations like that into Mr. Ozawa that even some former prosecutors, who once benefited from such favorable coverage, have begun criticizing them.

“It felt great when I was a prosecutor,” said Norio Munakata, a retired, 36-year veteran Tokyo prosecutor. “But now as a private citizen, I have to say that I feel cheated.”

ブログランキングへ ブログランキングに参加してます。ポチッと^^

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コメント

 日本のジャーナリズム界ではっきりしている2点は、日本のジャーナリストほどジャーナリズム批判に鈍感な国はないだろうこと、記者OBの論者ほど日本のジャーナリズムに絶望的であることである。
日本のジャーナリズムに本気で怒っていない論者は、会社の中で出世している人ばかりである。
 昔、拙著「日本型ジャーナリズムー構造分析と体質改善への模索」(九州大学出版会)を出した折、地方紙労組の大会に呼ばれたことがある。大会後の宴会は「うちの社はもっとひどい」「わが社はこんなもんじゃない」と、深刻なぼやき大会と化した。
 日本の会社ジャーナリストは、茹で蛙の如く痛覚を失い、批判を楽しんでいる雰囲気さえある。

投稿: 山下國誥 | 2009年6月13日 (土) 10時03分

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この記事へのトラックバック一覧です: ニューヨークタイムズも日本の検察とメディアを批判:

» 新聞は何処まで信じられるか? [雑感]
虚偽の報道や偏向報道と言われるのだが、どの程度のものか実際に検証をし始めている。 実際には、調べ始めているというか、前から研究テーマとしているところさえある。 それは、それとしてこれは過去、某**から配信をされたものであるが、この記事をどのように判断をするかは各自の判断ではあるが、「84%」の数字をどのように見るかということである。 ... [続きを読む]

受信: 2009年6月 4日 (木) 06時18分

« 朝日新聞の「西松事件は国策捜査だったのか」を読んで | トップページ | 「小沢秘書は無罪」はネットではもう常識? »