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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 27 - June 2  > Newspaper workers' union: news industry must make self-reform efforts
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2020 May 27 - June 2 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Newspaper workers' union: news industry must make self-reform efforts

May 27, 2020
The Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers' Unions (Shimbun Roren) on May 26 released a statement demanding that the media industry make self-reform efforts in response to a recent revelation that some reporters gambled while playing mahjong with an interviewee.

It was recently revealed that two reporters of Sankei Shimbun and a managerial employee of Asahi Shimbun had played mahjong for money several times with Kurokawa Hiromu, the then superintending prosecutor of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, even during the coronavirus state of emergency, which resulted in Kurokawa's resignation.

Regarding this issue, the statement criticizes these journalists for "running counter to the journalistic spirit and mission to keep a watchful eye on persons in power and report questionable findings to the public."

The statement points out that such a cozy practice has been a breeding ground for human rights violations and sexual harassment in the newsgathering process. The statement stresses, "News reporters must maintain a distance from authorities so that they can respond to concerns raised by the general public." It goes on to state, "Media organizations must regulate and reform themselves in order to avoid falling into authority-led restrictions on news gathering activities."

Past related articles:
> PM’s Office allegedly minimizes punishment of prosecutor for illegal mahjong gambling [ May 26, 2020]
> Kurokawa’s resignation over illegal gambling exposes unjustness of Cabinet decision to extend his tenure as senior prosecutor [May 22, 2020]
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