Yesterday, July 28, we had the session #3 of the Global Agenda Seminar (GAS) 2013.  After the first two sessions held in June where we covered basic techniques of logical thinking and informal debate to practice one approach to problem solving, this session marked the first of the series featuring one topic and expert as guest speaker.

The topic of this session was “Journalism & media-US & Japan” and Yo Makino was our guest.   He gave us some reference materials in advance, including the excerpt from his books (one of which just came out) and some interesting website describing the principles of journalism at School of Journalism at Columbia University.

I was intrigued by his book (unfortunately in Japanese) and was impressed with the high ethical standard and discipline required of the journalists in the US.

We selected this topic, mainly because of two reasons.  I had noticed the difference in the way news is reported in North America/Europe and in Japan.  I was also very interested in the impact of digital media on the traditional media and established institutions.

The session was very interesting and to many of us, eye-opening.  Topics I found interesting include the difference in perspectives—public vs. those in power, whether we disclose/feature individuals involved in the news, and different ways of reporting; facts only, data analysis and/or story-telling.

I personally learned a lot not only from the reading, but also the discussion following my question, “Would Japanese journalism change?”   Now that I know something more about the approach to journalism,  my reading of  news will be different.