TV news question

Gavin Rees garees at
Thu Feb 3 06:50:25 EST 2005

> Sheer lack of imagination on the part of news companies, lack of money and the
> problem that Japanese news is generally less concerned with quality might have
> something to do with it.
> More charitably, though:
> Don¹t forget that news is normally made to very tight deadlines. Also Japan is
> comparatively behind in the use of CGI technology. (I know amazing,
> considering the manufacture the hardware). But the switch to non-linear
> editing technology was at least 4-5 years behind the UK/USA/Europe etc. I
> suspect the reluctance to adopt new ways of working in production has to do
> with general resistance to orginisational change. Another difficulty might
> arise from the reliance on captioning machines to do all the heavy graphic
> overlays: Japanese characters etc, further cutting down the time available for
> other forms of manipulation. Some of these captioning systems lend themselves
> to actual manipulation of the source images themselves, others don¹t so
> readily: they work on a layering metaphor. Obviously a company such as the BBC
> has more resources to throw at its primetime (UK) news programmes than any
> Japanese broadcaster has. What you see on BBC World are usually recycled
> hand-me down images that have already been used in UK terrestrial output.  The
> flagship BBC news programmes are considerably more polished, and have higher
> production values. (News Night being the prime example.)
> Although this would be a controversial point to raise: there is the question
> of how much Japanese news media really seeks to genuinely impart information
> about the wider world. Producers may only feel it their responsibility to pass
> on information, rather than to feel that it is vital for the audience to fully
> understand what they are being told. My own experience of working in the
> Japanese media is that analysis and reportage are separated to an extent that
> would  be unacceptable in the UK or France. There is less attempt at cultural
> explanation. (Not that it is much good the other way around often either!) The
> consequence of this maybe that producer reporter teams are given more
> resources and more lead in time to do longer reports, and to order the
> necessary graphics etc.
> Who knows though, maybe there is a deeper cultural explanation, one that links
> cartoon sky-scrapers with the film aesthetics of kaibutsu movies. Godzilla in
> Manhattan, perhaps?
> Best wishes, 
> Gavin 
> Hi there,
> I've been pondering this for some time - apologies if this has been covered
> before:
> Can anyone tell me, why, when Japanese television news/current
> affairs/financial news programs wish to present something graphically, a
> physical, rather than a computer model is very often used?
> I haven't lived in Japan for 18 months, so I'm not certain this is still usual
> practice. However, a typical example of this would be the reconstructions of
> the September 11th attacks, made with physical model airplanes on a rod, and a
> cardboard manhattan/world trade centre, etc.
> Any thoughts on why this is done, rather than producing simulations, graphs
> with a computer?
> Thanks.
> Tom

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