Amid rising nationalism and increasing concentration of media power, sensational journalism is gaining a tighter grip on the public imagination, reducing political coverage to merely reporting a series of scandals.
Sound familiar? If it doesn’t now, it soon might, say Adam Gamble and Takesato Watanabe, authors of “A Public Betrayed,” a new book that detects dire warnings for the West in the demise of journalism in Japan.
There, sensational newsweeklies combine pornography with political coverage, trample on ethics, and trumpet right-wing propaganda.
It’s a slippery slope for corporate media in a conservative society, the authors argue. Japan has already slid and the U.S. is teetering. “I am afraid,” Watanabe tells the Voice, “similar things could happen in other democracies.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 9, 2004