Monday, February 19, 2007

The news is

Ms. Miki Sumiyoshi, co-presenter of "The Professionals" show on NHK, recently said something which set me pondering. During conversation off the studio, when we were chatting about things with the chief producer Mr. Nobuto Ariyoshi and several directors, she mentioned in passing how she disliked the news programs. Current affairs are surely important, but the daily news shows tend to capture brief moments of trends which need to be treated on a longer time scale. The news programs focus on visually dramatic happenings, sensationally reporting accidents and issues but completely forgetting what happened and moving on to new stimulants the next day. The average "attention span" of news programs is getting shorter and shorter. Ms. Sumiyoshi did not actually say that much, but that was the gist of her remark.

In short, the news is that the news programs are not really worth watching, folks!

I find myself increasingly being attracted by things set in a much longer temporal context than the "now this, next that" approach rampant in much of the modern media.

Einstein once remarked how people who are interested only in today's affairs are as well as short-sighted. I would like very much to see far away, hear distant sounds. Consequently I become less interested in the short-attention-span bonanza.


mrawekul said...

Almost four years I spent studying at college, I didn't subscribe to any newspaper nor watched TV -- I didn't have any TV set. However, I was able to know what everybody most talked about in the world. What was the source of information? It was ads of weekly magazines in the trains and newspapers.

The problem is how the media treat the news and how the viewers use it.

Please tell Ms. Sumiyoshi why not create a new type of news program because she is a member of the big broadcasting company - that's her duty, isn't she?

kosaku said...

I agree. Some news agencies neither intend to understand news topics nor make them understood by viewers.

But I think no matter how much we try to see the essential, say, "the rule of universe," we are still trapped by the norm in the modern world.

I know you might get rid of it at all, but not all of us can do it.

I'm an aspiring reporter, and everyday I try to write news as the way it is, believing someone will read my stories in 50 years to understand what today was like.

They would be able to see today's norms more vividly than we do.

LINUS said...

I also agree with that, Japanese news "entertament program" have no edge. I'm now living without any TV programs except for "Professional" of NHK and some educational programs. I hope somebody to start brand new "free standing" broadcasting station. I'm thinking to start new FM station, and seeking sponsors, ha !

Anonymous said...

You might be trapped in a fake Nobel prize without being a real gem.
Because Life is Short!

susie said...

This may be different from "now this, next that," you mentioned, but I am sometimes frustrated because the sequel of something happend is not reported.

chikaraishi said...

Thats why I think, many people are
intereseted in documentary programs
including NHK's "Professional".

By the way, my english is really bad...
but It's very good for me to try to read and understand your english blog to improve my english. Even if it started
from a tiny curiosity to you.

And I found out that writing comments
are much more harder than reading.
I forgot sooo many english vocabularies
and expressions.

freshhh said...

What is it about Japan that seems to be so ignorant sometimes?
For me, Japanese television is: Dramas, variety shows, news concerning many local issues and some major international ones, often just regarding Japanese- foreign relations; NHK is fine, but not very attractive for me.
In contrast I can only speack of the Germans, and I would say, they're doing their job quite well.

Maybe I'm just having language problems, but I can't help it- I always feel isolated from what's happening out of the ocean...
But very nice blog, by the way.