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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 9 - 15  > Press reporters' union protests possible intrusion in news media by authorities
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2020 September 9 - 15 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Press reporters' union protests possible intrusion in news media by authorities

September 10, 2020
The Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers' Unions (Shimbun Roren) and the Women in Media Network Japan (WiMN) are criticizing a government draft on the Basic Plan for Gender Equality for possibly leading to intervention by the state power in news media.

On September 7, they submitted a statement to the Cabinet Office, demanding that the corresponding part be deleted from the draft.

According to the draft, as specific initiatives "to actively send out information in collaboration with the media industry", the government will "build a network of women working in the field of media including women reporters". With the involvement of those in managerial/executive positions who will engage in women-resources development and in organizational operations, "the recognition of these initiatives will be shared between the government and the media" from the perspective of gender equality.

Regarding this part of the draft, Shimbun Roren pointed out that organizing media workers by public authorities would undermine the autonomy of the media and would also destabilize the media function as watchdog over power which is imperative to democratic society. Shimbun Roren said that efforts to narrow the gender gap should be autonomically made by media workers themselves, and that intervention in the media by public authorities is unacceptable as it constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression and press which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The WiMN expressed strong concern that to "share" the same recognition between the government and "a government-made network of women reporters" would turn into a reflection of government intentions and would distort the future of journalism.
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