• 15 . 04 . 04
  • Japanese news, perhaps unsurprisingly, is very ethnocentric. I’m left wondering if English news is the same.

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Media Blackout

Apparently the media here is state controlled. And not as in state owned, – state controlled. This means that any English newspapers that you can read here have been approved first and possibly altered. Freedom of the press it is not.

Furthermore, any world news in Japanese seems to be reported only if Japan are involved. For example, the recent hostage situation in Iraq. Until I spoke to someone back home, I had assumed that there were only 3 Japanese hostages. It turns out that there were 40 or so, of all different nationalities. I can understand concentrating on one’s own countrymen, but to ignore the other hostages totally seems incredibly insular. From a sports perspective, only Japanese achievements are shown. If the national football team loses 3-1, the news will show the single Japanese goal only, and congratulate them for a brave performance.

It reminds me of being in America, where the only news I got was American. I asked some students about it, and most agreed that they would like more world news. However, one student who had been to England many times said she thought English news was the same, with only news about England. I haven’t seen it for a couple of months, but I’m sure there were world interest stories every day. Not having news makes me feel out of touch with the world, especially not having any easy internet access. Hopefully that will be rectified soon.

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