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2008年6月13日 (金)

NHK勝訴

(Jun. 13, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Top court made sensible ruling over NHK show

NHK番組訴訟 「期待権」退けた妥当な判決(6月13日付・読売社説)

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of NHK regarding a TV program the content of which a private group said had been altered. The ruling by the top court was reasonable and based on common sense.

取材に特別な便宜を図ったのに期待を裏切られたとして、民間団体がNHKなどに賠償を求めた訴訟で、請求を退けた最高裁判決は、常識にかなった判断といえよう。

The public broadcaster aired a TV program featuring the private group's mock tribunal regarding the so-called comfort women of World War II. The group filed a lawsuit demanding NHK and two TV production companies pay compensation, saying the content in the aired program differed from what was originally explained to the group members. The group said despite giving NHK and the companies special privileges, it was betrayed.

NHKは、第2次大戦中のいわゆる従軍慰安婦問題を裁くと称する民間団体による模擬法廷を素材に、教養番組を放送した。これに対し、民間団体は当初説明された内容と異なるとして提訴した。

(mock=模擬、模造品/のふりをする、模擬する) (tribunal=裁判所、法廷、裁定機関) (mock tribunal=模擬法廷)

It is not unusual in the media, including newspapers, that the end result is different from what journalists initially intend. It also is common that superiors or senior editors make decisions that differ from those made by reporters or producers on the front lines.

担当者の初期の狙いと番組や報道の内容が異なることは、新聞を含め、たびたびある。上司や編集幹部が、現場とは別の判断をすることも日常的だ。

The editing and reworking processes on a TV program or a news story to better its quality, as well as balanced reporting, are essential for responsible journalism. These processes can sometimes even result in the scrapping of an entire story.

質の高い、バランスのとれた内容にするために手を加え、改善していくことは、責任ある報道にはむしろ欠かせない作業だ。時には報道に至らないこともある。

This is a situation recognized by the public, the Supreme Court said in Thursday's ruling, adding that the so-called right of expectations of sources would not be protected by law in this case.

最高裁は、こうした実情は「国民に認識されている」とし、取材相手のいわゆる「期待権」は法的保護の対象にならないとした。

The top court set strict conditions regarding exceptions to this, saying this also includes cases in which interviewees might have to bear great burdens by complying with requests for interviews with the media.

例外的に認められるのは、取材に応じることで格段の負担が生じる場合などと厳格な条件を掲げた。

===

Questions of news ethics

(報道の倫理とは?)

The Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, and the Broadcast Law stipulates freedom in program editing. In the ruling, the top court took into full account the meaning behind such laws and the realities of how news organizations actually operate.

憲法は「表現の自由」を保障し、放送法も「番組編集の自由」を定めている。今回の判決は、その趣旨や報道機関の実情を十分踏まえたものだ。

Unlike the Tokyo High Court's decision, which ordered NHK and the production firms to pay compensation to the plaintiff, the court concluded that the defendants did not need to provide explanations to the plaintiff about changes in program editing policy. The top court said such an obligation applies to journalists only under certain circumstances, such as when there is an agreement or pledge made with a source.

NHKなどに賠償を命じた2審判決と異なり、方針が変わった時の説明義務についても、最高裁は相手との合意・約束など特段の事情がある場合に限られるとし、今回はなかったと結論づけた。

If the content of a program or a story later significantly changes from the explanation given by a journalist to a source, it is desirable in some cases that such sources be informed of this. But this concerns only the ethics or good faith of journalists.

取材を申し込む時点で説明した内容が途中で大きく変わった場合、相手に伝えたほうが望ましいこともあろう。だが、それはあくまで取材倫理や信義の問題だ。

If there are legal restraints, it might become difficult for journalists to tell what readers or audiences should know.

法的な制約があっては、読者や視聴者に知らせるべき情報を伝えることが困難になりかねない。

===

Political influence?

(政治の圧力があったのか?)

Another focus of the lawsuit was whether politicians had pressured NHK to alter the content of the program. While the lawsuit was being heard at the high court, The Asahi Shimbun reported that politicians had pressured the broadcaster. But NHK and two lawmakers cited by the newspaper all denied this, sparking controversy.

訴訟では、政治家の圧力の有無も焦点だった。2審の係争中、朝日新聞が圧力を報じたが、NHKや名指しされた国会議員2人が否定し、論争となった。

(lawmaker=立法者、議員、国会議員)

The top court acknowledged that one of the lawmakers met with NHK executives, but did not mention whether the lawmaker had any influence in program editing. Above all, it is significant that even the high court ruling in favor of the plaintiff said it could not go so far as to say the politicians had ever referenced the program in detail or made any suggestions for the program.

だが、最高裁判決は、NHK幹部と国会議員1人との面会を認定しただけで、番組編集との関係には言及していない。何より、訴えを認めた2審判決ですら、「政治家が番組に関して具体的な話や示唆をしたとまでは認められない」としていた事実は重い。

reference=言及する、口を出す、口をはさむ)

Meanwhile, a third-party organ set up by broadcasters said Tuesday that NHK lacked fairness and impartiality when it reported the high court decision on one of its news programs. Without being content with the top court ruling, NHK must fulfill its responsibilities as a public broadcaster.

一方、NHKは今月10日、2審判決を伝えた報道番組について、放送界の第三者機関から「公平・公正を欠いた」と指摘された。最高裁判決に安住せず、公共放送の責任を果たしてほしい。

(fairness=公平、公正) (impartiality=公平、公明正大)

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 13, 2008)

20086130134  読売新聞)

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