A publication of the World Editors Forum


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The Huffington Post is to launch a Japanese-language site in partnership with Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese daily, the two companies announced today. According to a press release, Huffington Post Japan is currently recruiting a veteran editor-in-chief and editorial team in preparation for its launch, but a date was not given.

"I'm delighted to welcome Japan to the HuffPost family," said Arianna Huffington, quoted in the press release. "As our first edition in Asia, HuffPost Japan is more than just one more step toward our goal of expanding to new countries and continents; it's a reflection of our commitment to inviting ever more voices to join our growing global conversation. Partnering with the Asahi Shimbun Company, with its local expertise and grasp of Japan's history, culture, and unique personality, we'll be telling the stories that matter most both to those who live in Japan and those who care deeply about Japan -- and just as important, helping the people of Japan tell their stories themselves."

As the release notes, Asahi Shimbun is one of the largest papers in the world, with a daily circulation of 8 million copies for the morning edition and 3.4 million for the evening edition, with reporting in English, Chinese and Korean as well as Japanese.


Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman


2012-12-14 18:32

In the wake of the 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan on March 11 of this year, the Japanese news industry showed resilience and dedication to keeping their readership informed.

Initially, newspapers in northeastern Japan had difficulties publishing, but thanks to mutual anti-disaster agreements with newspapers in neighboring prefectures, newspapers in the heavily affected Tohoku region were able to continue publishing.

Some newspapers used back-up generators to maintain power and reduced the number of pages in print, according to the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association.

One resourceful newspaper in Ishinomaki, Japan, resorted to handwriting papers for residents and passing them out at local relief centers.

For those who did not have access to power, Twitter became the best way to relay reports of damage and daily life in the quake region, as email was unsure and drained mobile phone batteries. Internet access remained unstable for a few days, and newspapers used the micro-blogging service to keep readers informed of disaster-related information.

For some papers, this was the first time ever using Twitter. The Kahoku Shimpo, a newspaper in the Miyagi Prefecture, started a "TwiLog" service to archive past Twitter messages in a searchable blog.


Florence Pichon


2011-06-01 13:23

An earthquake and tsunami didn't stop the press. In Ishinomaki, Japan, the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun, the town's only newspaper, refused to be thwarted. Even though it had no power, staff hand-wrote papers for residents. They were handed out at local relief centers.

Now, those hand-written copies have been attained by Newseum to be displayed in a future exhibit at the Time Warner World News Gallery, according to its site.

The paper was dedicated to giving information to citizens. The first edition let residents know it was the biggest earthquake in the history of Japan. The next day's edition reported the arrival of rescue teams to the area. Three days later, it said, "Let's overcome the hardship with mutual support." One day after that, it reported the lights had come back on.

Carrie Christoffersen, curator of collections said, "Without the benefit of any of the 21st century conveniences or technological advancements, and in the face of significant personal hardships, these journalists were distinctly committed to providing their community with critical information, and they used simple pen and paper to do it."


Meghan Hartsell


2011-04-15 18:05

After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan on March 11 and the ensuing tsunami that devastated the coasts, the world, and Japan itself, was following the event via breaking news and news coverage.

As Martyn Williams, IDG News, reported (via PCWorld.com), millions of Japanese flocked to the Internet and social media websites in the aftermath.

However, according to two surveys, the article said that television retained its place as the primary source of information for the Japanese. "The data highlights the growing importance of Internet-based information sources in Japan, but underlines the continued dominance of traditional media and the trust Japan has in its well-funded public broadcaster, NHK".

Many news site saw big jumps in their audience: according to Nielsen NetRatings Japan, Reuters attracted a million Japanese and TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.), operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plants, increased its audience from 500,000 to over 5 million during the period, the article reported.

Social media sites saw increased use - it added - with Twitter increasing its PC audience by a third, but the NetRatings data doesn't count cell phone use, which is an important platform for social media use in Japan.


Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini


2011-03-29 19:12

Japan's newspapers, thus far healthier than their western counterparts, are now heading towards crisis, the Agence France-Presse reported. Although the country boasts the world's top selling daily, the Yomiuri Shimbun with 10 million copies a day, and newspapers remain the preferred source of news, advertising revenue has plunged and the press seems to have failed to capture the attention of much of the younger generation, according to the AFP.

Home-delivery subscriptions are strong and several updated editions of papers are produced throughout the day. But young people who have grown up with free news on the Internet might not be willing to pay: the AFP reported that according to the M1F1 Research Institute, people in their 20s view newspapers at expensive and time-consuming and replaceable by free alternatives.


Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman


2010-09-16 12:46

While much of the news industry is facing serious problems in the face of the looming digital age of the media, Japan appears to be having the exact opposite problem. The New York Times reports that the failure of JanJan News, an online news source in Japan, indicated Japan's resistance to online media. "JanJan was the last of four online newspapers offering reader-generated articles that were started with great fanfare here," writes Martin Fackler, "but they have all closed or had to scale back their operations in the past 2 years."

JanJan was an online news sources that offered reader-generated articles. Although the site started with a great amount of hype, it has been unable to sustain itself. Yet, the problem is not the citizen journalism aspect of the news site--no online journal has been able to succeed in Japan.

Despite the growing threat of digital media take-over in other parts of the world, Japan's media landscape has remained untouched, and JanJan is just one example. JanJan's president and founder Ken Takeuchi says "Japan just wasn't ready yet. This is a hard place to create an alternative source of news."


Carole Wurzelbacher


2010-06-22 17:41

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