« B型肝炎訴訟―全面解決に道が見えた | トップページ | ハイアットバンク ameblo »

2011年1月14日 (金)

Kan's appearance on TV news program backfires

(Mainichi Japan) January 13, 2011
Kan's appearance on TV news program backfires

Prime Minister Naoto Kan appeared on Hodo Station, a popular news program on TV Asahi, as a guest on Jan. 5. Usually, a TV program draws attention from viewers when an incumbent prime minister appears.

At the same time, BS11 was airing its talk show, "Inside Out," in which ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa appeared as a guest.

A close-up of Ozawa's face was projected on a huge screen in the satellite broadcaster's studio while Prime Minister Kan and anchorman Ichiro Furutachi appeared on another small screen nearby.
大きなモニターにゲストの小沢一郎・民主党元代表の顔。周囲の小型モニターには他局の映像が流れている。あれ? 首相が古舘伊知郎キャスターと並んで映っているぞ。

"The network (TV Asahi) invited the prime minister to its program to face off against us," a staff member of Inside Out said.

It was later revealed that some DPJ legislators were instructed by the prime minister's office to watch Kan on Hodo Station -- in other words, not to see Ozawa.

No wonder Kan harbored a feeling of rivalry against Ozawa as he declared at his first news conference of the year that he will urge Ozawa to step down in an apparent bid to prop up the popularity of his own administration.

However, it turned out his attempt was counterproductive. As soon as the prime minister appeared on Hodo Station, its viewer rating sharply dropped. The average rating throughout the program on that day stood at 6.9 percent, less than half the average of the previous four weeks -- 14.7 percent, according to the Yukan Fuji tabloid evening daily.

The average rating for the program was 11.6 percent the day before Kan appeared and 10.5 percent the day after, showing that many viewers switched the channel from TV Asahi as soon as they saw Kan.

Staff members of a private TV program were required to choose between dispatching a live broadcasting van to the prime minister's office and a murder scene during the closing days of the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who stepped down in September 2007.

They quickly decided to dispatch the vehicle to the murder scene, with one of them saying, "Even if we broadcast Mr. Abe, we can't gain good figures."

TV station officials evaluate news by viewer ratings they estimate. In other words, TV stations play up a Cabinet reshuffle, a kabuki star's drunken brawl and a celebrity's extramarital affair only while they can gain high viewer ratings.

Hodo Station workers apparently did not think Kan's appearance on the program would push down its viewer rating because of his declaration that he will seek the resignation of Ozawa.

Kan also appeared to have been under the wrong impression that his administration could regain popularity by declaring that he will seek to sack Ozawa.

However, the results have turned out to be the opposite.

In the BS11 program, Ozawa never urged Kan to resign.

He rather urged the prime minister to work hard to ensure the fiscal 2011 state budget clear the Diet, noting that the DPJ, which took over the reins of government after scoring a landslide victory in the 2009 general election, has political responsibility for living up to the public's expectations.

The top priority for the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is to overthrow the DPJ-led administration. In other words, the LDP is aiming to unseat Kan.

Under the circumstances, one cannot help but wonder whether the prime minister can afford to cause the viewer rating of a TV program in which he appeared to decline by seeking to sack Ozawa. (By Hidetoshi Kaneko, Expert Senior Writer)

毎日新聞 2011年1月13日 東京朝刊


« B型肝炎訴訟―全面解決に道が見えた | トップページ | ハイアットバンク ameblo »





« B型肝炎訴訟―全面解決に道が見えた | トップページ | ハイアットバンク ameblo »