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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 15 - 21  > Mass media expert: TV stations should fight against interference by ruling party
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2015 April 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Mass media expert: TV stations should fight against interference by ruling party

April 19, 2015
An expert on mass media said that it is extraordinary for the ruling party to call executives of TV stations to its headquarters and have them justify their programs.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on April 17 interviewed executives of NHK and TV Asahi about their news shows.

Sudo Haruo, professor emeritus in media studies at Hosei University, said that the LDP refused to accept interview requests from a particular TV station by claiming that its news reports lack fairness and sent TV networks a letter calling for neutral coverage of election campaigns. This LDP stance towards media infringes on the freedom of speech and expression, Sudo criticized.

The media expert went on to say that the LDP this time summoned TV network officials to answer questions about particular programs, stressing that this type of pressure tactic will cause an unprecedented chilling effect on broadcasters. He pointed out that the Abe government is trying to interfere with news media more directly after facing growing public criticism regarding its move to turn Japan into a war fighting nation.

Citing the fact that the LDP hinted at the possibility of having the government involved in the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization, an autonomous organization of broadcasters, Sudo said that such a move will put further pressure on TV stations and will threaten the already weakened independence and autonomy in broadcast media.
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