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2008年12月26日 (金)

NHK新委員長―公共放送の責務を体して

2008/12/26

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 24(IHT/Asahi: December 26,2008)

EDITORIAL: New broom at NHK

NHK新委員長―公共放送の責務を体して

Shigehiro Komaru, president of Fukuyama Transporting Co., has been named chairman of the board of governors at scandal-tainted Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK). As head of the public broadcaster's decision-making body, Komaru will be responsible for steering the board in a way that reflects a clear and viable vision for the television and radio network's future.

 NHK経営委員会の新しい委員長に、福山通運社長の小丸成洋(しげひろ)氏が決まった。NHKの最高意思決定機関のトップとして、公共放送のあるべき姿を見据えた委員会運営がその肩にかかっている。 

The board of governors determines NHK's basic management policies, budget allocations and business plans while supervising the executive board headed by the president. The power of the board was enhanced significantly this spring through a revision to the Broadcast Law. This was done in response to a series of scandals that had plagued NHK that included cases of employees embezzling funds for program productions.

 経営委員会はNHKの経営の基本方針や予算、事業計画を決め、会長以下の執行部を監督する。制作費着服など不祥事が相次いだことで放送法が改正され、春から権限が大幅に強まった。 

Komaru's predecessor, Shigetaka Komori, pushed hard to transform the board from an organization that simply rubber-stamps decisions by the executive board into a vocal watchdog to oversee management operations. In a move that symbolized his reform campaign, Komori ensured that NHK's new medium-term business plan included a 10 percent cut in viewer fees starting in fiscal 2012. The decision was made in the face of strong opposition from the executive board.

 古森重隆前委員長は、執行部の決定を追認する組織から、「もの言う委員会」への転換を強く推し進めた。執行部の抵抗を押し切って、12年度からの受信料10%値下げを中期経営計画に盛り込んだことは象徴的だった。 

Komaru must be willing to disagree and even fight with the executive board if he is to continue his predecessor's efforts to slim down the bloated organization.

 肥大化したNHKを一層スリムにするために、小丸氏にも執行部との緊張関係を引き続き維持してもらいたい。 

Still, Komori made some troubling moves that Komaru should not emulate. The former chief of the board of governors made unwarranted attempts to influence the public network's news reporting and content of other programs. Komori also stirred controversy by saying NHK's broadcast for overseas audiences should be designed to promote Japan's national interests. In addition, he made remarks that could be interpreted as intervention in the network's programs.

 ただ前任者を見習ってもらっては困る点もある。公共放送としての報道や番組の内容に、不当に口を出したことだ。古森氏は海外向け放送について「国益を主張すべきだ」と述べたり、番組への政治介入ともとれる発言をしたりして問題になっていた。 

Since its budget and some key management decisions must be approved by the Diet, NHK constantly faces the challenge of how to maintain its political independence. The new chairman of the board of governors should have a renewed awareness of NHK's delicate position.

 予算などの決定に国会承認が必要なため、NHKは常に政治との距離が問われている。そのことを改めて強く意識してもらいたい。 

NHK has been hit by a string of scandals that betrayed the public's confidence, including insider trading by reporters and others. On the other hand, some NHK programs are topping prime-time ratings. With commercial broadcasters struggling with the deepening recession, the role of NHK, which secures a stable revenue from viewer fees, is assuming greater importance.

 NHKではこのところ、記者らによる株のインサイダー取引など視聴者の信頼を裏切る問題が次々に起きている。一方で、ゴールデンタイムの視聴率が首位になるなど、番組は好調だ。不況で民放が経営に苦しむ中、受信料で安定した運営ができるNHKが担うべき責任はますます重くなっている。 

Komaru comes to his new position after having spent four and a half years as a member of the board of governors. In the news conference announcing his appointment as chairman of the board, Komaru repeatedly said his immediate priority is to implement the medium-term business plan. Asked about NHK's future stance, however, he only talked vaguely about such principles as "fairness" and "independence and discipline."

 小丸氏はすでに経営委員を4年半、務めている。委員長就任の記者会見では、中期経営計画の実行が当面の目的だと繰り返したが、NHKのあり方を問われると「公平公正」「自主自律」といった言葉を並べただけだった。 

Komaru needs to give viewers and listeners a better idea of how he intends to support NHK's management so that the public network can live up to public expectations.

 視聴者の信頼に応える公共放送の経営をどう支えようとしているのか、もっと明確な考えを聞きたい。 

The enhancement of the board's power requires a review of the way the panel operates. The governors are selected from well-informed and experienced people in various walks of life, including education, culture, science and industry. They are appointed by the prime minister with approval by the Diet. The board is supposed to be composed of 12 governors. But only nine took part in the selection of the new chairman. That's because three of the government's appointees for the position were rejected by the opposition-controlled Upper House.

 権限が強まったことで、経営委員会のあり方も見直す必要がある。 

 委員は、教育、文化、科学、産業などの各界と各地方から選ばれた有識者が、国会の同意を得て首相から任命される仕組みになっている。本来は12人いるはずだが、今回の委員長選出に参加したのは9人だけだった。政府提出の人事案が参院で不同意になり、3人欠員のままだったためだ。 

This unusual situation has drawn fresh public attention to the problem of the selections of governor nominees behind closed doors. One former governor said, "I received no explanation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications about why I had been picked for the post, and I felt a lack of transparency in the process."

 この異例の事態で、経営委員が密室で選ばれているという問題が改めて注目された。ある委員経験者は「なぜ自分が選ばれたのか総務省から説明もない。不明朗に感じた」と言う。 

NHK is a public broadcaster that depends on support from the public at large. The ministry should figure out a way to make the selection process more transparent.

 みんなで支える公共放送である。総務省は、委員の選考過程が視聴者にも見える仕組みをぜひ検討してほしい。

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