NHK News has become all but unwatchable in the few months since the smashing victory of Abe Shinzo’s Liberal Democratic Party in the December 16, 2012 elections. The abrupt surrenders to the unwritten rules of the broadcaster’s new masters:
- the simultaneous and unexplained shift to the use of the voiced consonant in the name of the country
- the disappearance of on air political analysis by journalists from the seijibu
- the dutiful and clipped reporting of every governmental panel meeting
- the explosion in the number and length of human interest and traditional culture segments
- the shift in the underlying theme of Tohoku disaster segments from reports of abandonment to tales of perseverance
are reminders of how quickly changes in habits come, when timidity is an institutional virtue.
Not all is depressing. The return of Abe Shinzo & Company has sharpened Mino Monta’s teeth. Three years of not having the LDP to lambaste must have been corrosively dull for the TBS morning show ring master.
Nice it is to have private ownership of media conglomerates, when the national broadcaster rolls over and offers up its throat to the wolf with the red roses.