Journalists discuss media and peace

About 400 journalists, students, and citizens concerned about the Japanese media attended a symposium in Tokyo on May 10 to discuss the issues of peace and the media.

The panelists focused their discussion on the question of terrorism, the Iraq War, the wartime legislation, and the freedom of speech and expression.

Speaking on behalf of the organizing committee, Hara Toshio, former Kyodo News Service editor-in-chief, stated that Japanese journalism is at a cross roads to choose between two directions: journalism in the citizens' interests or journalism that puts emphasis on the state and patriotism.

In his speech entitled "Journalists' Resolution", anchorman Chikushi Tetsuya said that reports on the Iraq War show that media became part of war propaganda and called on the media to return to the "role as power watcher". (end)

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