Posted on November 30, by Scott Alexander I.
Number of Individuals with Internet Access: At first glance, the condition of the Japanese press seems to be parallel to that found in the United States.
There are major national daily newspapers, a prestigious financial newspaper, and many regional and local newspapers. The level of reporting is quite good. There is a vigorous and increasing use not only of television for the dissemination of news, but also of the Internet.
The population is highly literate; indeed, Japan has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, at over 90 percent. The vast majority of Japanese people read at least one newspaper every day.
Just five newspapers are "national" papers, and their circulation in both morning and evening editions accounts for half of the country's total newspaper circulation. These are with circulation figures in millions, combining morning and evening editions the Asahi Shimbun A closer examination of editorial style and content shows a considerable uniformity among these newspapers.
It is almost impossible to characterize one or another of them as predictably and regularly representing a specific political position, as, by way of example, the New York Times can be assumed to take a liberal standpoint, while the Wall Street Journal 's editorial page usually is conservative.
Part of this uniformity in editorial posture is due, of course, to the overwhelming dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party, with its six or so internal political clans but a broad consensus on policy.
To understand this condition, it is useful to take a brief excursion into the history of Japanese journalism. Newspapers as we know them came late to Japan, and were not much present until the very end of the era of feudalism, which was precipitated by the arrival in of an American armada.
Initially, they seem to have been crudely printed gossipy broadsheets yomiuriliterally "for sale to read". The Shogunate made many efforts to control the dissemination of information and opinion, although with the proliferation of lending libraries it was not possible to make any tight controls effective.
It was not until the modernizing reforms of the Meiji Restoration that a formal press was permitted. Historical Stages in the Modern Era since An Overview The development of this modern system has gone through several distinct phases, some of which are discussed in more detail below.
Even before the early days of that revolution known as the Meiji Restoration, the transitional period between the arrival of American ships and the actual removal of the Shogunate saw the development of a number of news outlets.
The first of these was the Nagasaki Shipping List and Advertiser, an English paper published in Since many Japanese products contained satirical comments on the crumbling central government, they were unpopular with the leading officials.
But early Japanese travelers to the west, within two years of the arrival of the Americans, immediately saw the utility of accurate and widely available national news and pressed for change in Japan's newspaper policies. In response, the Shogunate reorganized the Office for Studying Barbarian Writings so as to facilitate the acquisition and dissemination of foreign news inside Japan.
A further reorganization in led to the inclusion of domestic news in the mix, also ironically derived from foreign newspapers since the Tokugawa developments in the popular development and dissemination of news had not matured to any level of reliability. Once the Meiji Restoration was accomplished in and solidified in the next several years, the development of a national press became a priority for the national government.
In the early years of the twentieth century, the "people's rights" movement gave further impetus to the growth of a professional press tradition.
These positive developments were even accelerated in the period of so-called "Taisho Democracy" as Japan seemed to be considering the development of a mature and liberal form of social organization. However, the descent into militarism, which accelerated after the later s, put Japanese newspapers into a difficult position relative to the government and national policy from which only the end of the war and the beginning of the American Occupation was able to deliver them.Watch "Recreational marijuana sales begin in Massachusetts", a CBSN video on ashio-midori.com View more CBSN videos and watch CBSN, a live news stream featuring original CBS News reporting.
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