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.”