chapter  7
14 Pages

Public Journalism in Japan: Experiments by a National Paper

ByYOHTARO HAMADA

Public journalism was launched in Japan by Asahi Shimbun, the world’s second largest newspaper (WAN 2005), with a circulation of 11.5 million copies daily of its morning and afternoon editions (Japan Audit Bureau of Circulation 2008). The newspaper established a Kurashi or ‘Section for Civic Welfare’ in April 2000, with a team of about forty reporters and editors who adopted the idea of public journalism and practised it on a daily basis. As a founding member of the Kurashi, I will analyze how public journalism was introduced into this huge national newspaper, the nature of the team’s reporting, and the dilution of public journalism due to organizational changes within Asahi. From this, I will explore how Japanese journalists have adapted and interpreted an American concept, and future possibilities for public journalism in the country.1