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NHK reporter violated ethics code

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 13, 2010)
NHK reporter violated ethics code
捜索情報漏洩 報道倫理逸脱したNHK記者(10月11日付・読売社説)

The illegal gambling on professional baseball by dozens of sumo wrestlers and stablemasters has taken yet another twist--one that raises serious questions about the ethics of the press.
 大相撲の野球賭博問題で、今度は報道側の倫理が厳しく問われる事態が明るみに出た。

A male reporter in his 30s, who then belonged to the sports section of NHK's News Department, allegedly sent an e-mail from his mobile phone in July to stablemaster Tokitsukaze, who was being investigated by the police over the gambling scandal. The reporter's e-mail allegedly tipped off Tokitsukaze, former makuuchi division wrestler Tokitsuumi, that the police would likely search sumo stables the following day.
 NHKの報道局スポーツ部に所属する30歳代の男性記者が7月、警視庁の捜査対象になっていた時津風親方(元幕内時津海)に、「あす警察が捜索に入るようだ」などとメールを送信していたというのだ。

If this allegation is true, the reporter has committed an abominable act that violates journalists' code of ethics. NHK reportedly has been flooded with protests and complaints from the public following these revelations.
 記者倫理を逸脱した言語道断の行為である。NHKにも抗議や苦情が殺到しているという。

Several hours after the reporter sent the e-mail, the Metropolitan Police Department searched several sumo stables on suspicion of organizing illegal gambling for profit. The MPD discovered the reporter had leaked the information as they trawled through the contents of Tokitsukaze's mobile phone, which was confiscated as evidence during the search.
 当時、警視庁は賭博開張図利容疑で複数の相撲部屋を一斉捜索しているが、結果的に記者のメール送信から数時間後だった。その際に押収した親方の携帯電話の解析から情報漏洩(ろうえい)が発覚した。

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Standards thrown out

If the information leak by the reporter had resulted in evidence being destroyed, it could have seriously impeded the police investigation. The reporter's actions also might have violated certain laws.
 仮に、この情報をもとに証拠隠滅などが行われていれば、どうだったろう。捜査に重大な支障が出た可能性があった。記者の行為が法に抵触する恐れもあった。

"Don't tell this to anybody else," the journalist's message reportedly said. "I'll get in huge trouble if you're found to have been tipped off by NHK." This suggests the reporter was fully aware that sending the e-mail was illicit.
 メールには「他言無用。NHKに聞いたとばれたら大変なので」などと記されていた。許されない行為であるという認識は、記者にもあったはずだ。

Nonetheless, the reporter fired off the e-mail because he wanted to reestablish his relationship with Tokitsukaze, the reporter reportedly said during an internal NHK investigation.
 それでも情報を送った理由として、記者は「メールをきっかけに、再び親方と関係作りをしたかった」と内部調査に答えている。

Objective reporting requires a journalist to keep some distance from the subject being covered. NHK reporters should observe this rule even more strictly than other sumo journalists because the broadcaster exclusively televises sumo tournaments live and enjoys special relations with the Japan Sumo Association.
 客観的な報道をするためには、取材対象と一定の距離を置く必要がある。独占的に大相撲を中継し、相撲協会とも特殊な関係にあるNHKならば、なおさらだ。

On the day before the reporter sent the e-mail, NHK made the painful decision not to broadcast the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament live--the first time a basho would not be aired live since NHK started televising the national sport decades ago. If the reporter tried to glean information by currying favor with a subject of NHK's coverage, we have to say the reporter has absolutely no ethical sense.
 記者のメール送信の前日は、NHKが、テレビ中継始まって以来の名古屋場所の生中継中止という苦渋の決断をした日だ。その傍ら、取材対象に取り入ることで情報を得ようと記者が画策していたとしたらモラル欠如も甚だしい。

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Lessons to be learned

An ironclad rule for journalism is that information gained through news gathering activities will not be used for anything but reporting purposes.
 そもそも、取材活動で知り得た情報を報道目的以外に使わないというのは鉄則だ。

NHK has claimed the reporter heard about the impending police search from a newspaper reporter. Even if that is true, it does not justify leaking police information to a person subject to investigation.
 NHKは、捜索情報は他紙の記者から得たもの、と強調するが、そうだとしても、捜査対象に漏らしていい理由にはなるまい。

In 2008, NHK found that three employees, including a director, had engaged in insider trading based on information distributed within the public broadcaster. Since then, NHK employees have been given in-house training such as workshops on broadcast ethics. However, these efforts have failed.
 NHKでは2008年、元ディレクターらによる局内情報をもとにしたインサイダー取引が発覚した。以後、放送倫理の勉強会を開くなど、社内教育を徹底してきたというが、生かされなかった。

Between 2004 and 2006, an increasing number of TV owners refused to pay NHK viewing fees following revelations of accounting irregularities at the broadcaster, including embezzlement of production money and fraudulent business trips by employees. We wonder if NHK has already forgotten just how difficult it is to regain viewers' trust.
 04~06年には、制作費着服やカラ出張など不正経理が続発し、受信料の支払い拒否が相次いだ。視聴者の信頼回復がいかに困難か、よもやNHKは忘れていまい。

The latest scandal should not be dismissed simply as the actions of a single reporter. The whole NHK organization should examine the latest episode seriously and announce steps to prevent a repeat of similar scandals.
 記者個人の問題で終わらせてはならない。NHKは組織全体で今回の不祥事を検証し、改めて再発防止策を公表すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 11, 2010)
(2010年10月11日01時06分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-10-13 05:50 | 英字新聞

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