Kisha Clubs

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You learn something new every day. I only have a passing knowledge regarding Kisha Clubs but I found this on Tokyo Manga.

Kisha clubs, or Japanese press clubs, are exclusive associations of Japanese journalists from various news organizations. A recent report by NPR’s On The Media reveals the biases and restrictions of Japan’s press clubs. Government entities and corporations have close affiliations with these kisha clubs, allowing members access to press conferences closed off to outsiders. This kind of stuff happens in many countries, but it’s a little different here. For example, organizations have their very own kisha clubs installed right in their office buildings. One other unique characteristic is that members of the kisha club develop deep and interdependent relationships with political figures.

This is interesting to read for those news geeks out there.

I’m not shocked but also a bit disheartened. So I looked up Kisha Clubs and this is part of what I found.

記者クラブ kisha kurabu?), or “reporters’ club”, from the Japanese word kisha (記者?), meaning reporter, is a Japanese news-gathering association of reporters from specific news organizations, whose reporting centers on a press room set up by sources such as the Prime Minister’s official residence, government ministries, local authorities, the police, or corporate bodies.

Institutions with a kisha club limit their press conferences to the journalists of that club, and membership rules for kisha clubs are restrictive. This limits access by domestic magazines and the foreign media, as well as freelance reporters, to the press conferences.

While similar arrangements exist in all countries, the Japanese form of this type of organization has characteristics unique to Japan, and hence the Japanese term is used in other languages.

It’s a reminder to remember what journalists should be doing and that is reporting the news. However, not everyone does it the same.

I’m chewing on this because I’m learning about things too. Just a little trivia for
those of us who keep up with things like the news cultures around the world.

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One Comment

  1. James said December 29, 2008 | Permalink

    I first heard of Kisha Clubs on the OTM podcast too. The Japanese people could have a free press if they demanded it from their journalists.


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