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WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

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WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby coco » Tue 06.24.2008 9:24 pm

As some of you pointed it out before, WaiWai had continued reporting scandalous tales just as if it's a Japanese culture.
Many Net users protested against WaiWai's miscreant articles, and they examined the editorial policy of the company, Mainichi Newspapers. Some of them gave pressure to the companies that had advertised on the net spaces of Mainichi Newspapers.

Finally Mainichi Daily News had to put the apology notice.
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/culture/waiwai/ (English)
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/culture/waiwai/etc/owabi.html (Japanese)

Now the concerns are: Who will be punished and how heavy it should be.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby Wakannai » Tue 06.24.2008 11:18 pm

I'm not big on punishment myself. One of my personal favorite phrases is: "Don't be sorry, just don't do it again." Apologizing and continuing the behavior rings insincere, while reforming proves the sincerity, even if an apology is lacking. Of course this only applies if noone was hurt.

I just looked at wai wai as a Japanese version of Star or Enquirer. So the problem wasn't with the articles, the problem was with the audience.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby doinkies » Wed 06.25.2008 2:47 am

This blog post sums up my feelings toward WaiWai, particularly the last sentence:

You can’t be a news service and also offer shameless articles concerning “bestiality restaurants.”


I know there are many people who like to laugh at weird tabloid articles, but they don't belong on a large, non-tabloid newspaper's site. You don't see other major newspapers' sites having that kind of content. Yes, they were in their own section, and yes, I know that they cited the tabloids, but even then there were still some doinks out there who took them as 100% truth (even though the stories were written in an obviously tabloid style), including that "bestiality restaurant" article...

Then again it seems that the English version of Mainichi has always been more "tabloid-y" than the Japanese version.

I don't think that those responsible should be heavily punished, though.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby coco » Wed 06.25.2008 7:10 am

If a director of digital Media division won't get any punishment, it would mean nobody of Mainichi Newspapers has been proud of their company.

I hope some of them are still proud of their jobs.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 06.25.2008 10:07 am

I think I agree with Wakannai. While having the sexy and sensationalistic articles in a "respectable newspaper" was certainly ill-advised and bad form, I don't see how there was any actual wrongdoing.

I've read a few of the articles that were linked at various websites and they always seemed like titillating but ultimately harmless junk. Any sensible person stumbling upon one of the articles would recognize them for the tabloid trash they are and take them with a grain of salt. On the other hand, anyone who takes their ideas from what a country's culture is like from a tabloid rag is probably beyond help already.

Just my 2¢.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby AJBryant » Wed 06.25.2008 10:40 am

Well, admission time.

When I was at the Mainichi, I was one of the two people responsible for the intro of WAI WAI to the paper. Of course, the Wai Wai was structurally very different and we were much more selective in content back in 1991. Basically, we took about half a dozen stories, condensed each one into one paragraph, and had a big section of topical Japanese newspaper and weekly mag comics with translation and cultural notes, etc. Basically, the Wai Wai page was "this is this week in Japanese pop culture."

Apparently, it's changed somewhat since Adam and I worked on WaiWai.


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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 06.25.2008 8:31 pm

becki_kanou wrote:anyone who takes their ideas from what a country's culture is like from a tabloid rag is probably beyond help already.


You just summed up the entirity of the internet. ;)

The problem is that the Japanese news that gets put into the major net outlets and blogs is the weird stuff like what is posted on WaiWai. You get enough of those types of stories going and soon people start thinking that japan is full of pedophiles and tentacle porn.

While people who know about Japan won't be fooled into thinking tabloid stories are actaul news, the average netizen does not know jack about Japan.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby AJBryant » Wed 06.25.2008 11:11 pm

Agreed.

When I was doing WaiWai, we were in print, and had a more localized (i.e., inside Japan) readership.


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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby chikara » Wed 06.25.2008 11:23 pm

Harisenbon wrote:...... the average netizen does not know jack ......

Edited for correctness :wink:
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby doinkies » Wed 06.25.2008 11:59 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
becki_kanou wrote:anyone who takes their ideas from what a country's culture is like from a tabloid rag is probably beyond help already.


You just summed up the entirity of the internet. ;)

The problem is that the Japanese news that gets put into the major net outlets and blogs is the weird stuff like what is posted on WaiWai. You get enough of those types of stories going and soon people start thinking that japan is full of pedophiles and tentacle porn.

While people who know about Japan won't be fooled into thinking tabloid stories are actaul news, the average netizen does not know jack about Japan.


Indeed, I've seen people who link to WaiWai stories as though they were just like any other news story. A year ago, someone submitted an article to Digg that said that "sex with minors is encouraged in Japan" which came from WaiWai, and it actually got tons of diggs and commenters who actually believed it! There were commenters who pointed out that WaiWai's not trustworthy and pointed out the inaccuracies in the article but they were digged down and the original poster was all "But it came from Mainichi so it's TROO!!1111!!!". -_-

And in the thread coco linked in the original post, Yudan Taiteki also gave an example of people who believed a particular WaiWai article...

I'm not against translations/summaries of tabloid articles posted for amusement, but they really should be on a separate site altogether IMO.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 06.26.2008 11:06 am

Harisenbon wrote:You get enough of those types of stories going and soon people start thinking that japan is full of pedophiles and tentacle porn. .


It isn't? well shoot, now I don't want to see DragonBallZ anymore..
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby coco » Fri 06.27.2008 8:42 pm

Punitive measures was announced.

The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd. on Friday responded to the publishing of inappropriate articles on the Mainichi Daily News WaiWai column, issuing three months' disciplinary leave to the Mainichi Daily News staff writer in charge of the column.

The responsibility of supervisors was also questioned and punishments were handed to Mainichi Daily News Managing Editor Hiroshi Takahashi, who was stripped of his title for two months, and Digital Media Division General Manager Akihiko Isono -- at the time Deputy General Manager of the Digital Media Division -- who was stripped of his title for one month.

In addition, Director and Digital Media Division Executive Supervisor Atsushi Hasegawa, who at the time was General Manager of the Digital Media Division, was ordered to return 20 percent of his directors compensation for one month, and President Yutaka Asahina -- at the time Managing Director and Digital Media Division Executive Supervisor -- was ordered to return 10 percent of his directors compensation for one month.

Quoted from http://mdn.mainichi.jp/culture/waiwai/

In Japanese
毎日新聞社は27日、英文サイト「毎日デイリーニューズ」上のコラム「WaiWai」に不適切な記事が掲載された問題で、コラムを担当していた英文毎日編集部記者を懲戒休職3カ月にした。また、監督責任を問い高橋弘司英文毎日編集部長を役職停止2カ月、当時のデジタルメディア局次長の磯野彰彦デジタルメディア局長を役職停止1カ月の懲戒処分とした。このほか、当時のデジタルメディア局長の長谷川篤取締役デジタルメディア担当が役員報酬の20%(1カ月)、当時の常務デジタルメディア担当の朝比奈豊社長が役員報酬10%(1カ月)を返上する処分とした。

http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/news/20 ... 9000c.html
http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/news/20 ... 9000c.html
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby sunzoltar » Sun 06.29.2008 9:46 pm

WaiWai’s tragic cancellation due to outside pressures disappoints and dismays. It seems that a vocal minority of readers has ruined it for the silent majority. Japan has a large population of sophisticated readers who enjoy a variety of media in their news. Most major newspapers own or cross-promote weekly magazines which feature sensational articles along with artistic articles and hard news.

Ironically, the group of foreigners protesting against WaiWai because it might give outsiders the “wrong” impression about Japan have only succeeded in whitewashing Japanese news so that it shows only one facet of Japanese media. This way, everyone loses.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 06.30.2008 8:28 am

Are you associated with the waiwai? No one else would try to defend articles about mothers giving their sons oral sex during exams, bestiality cafes, Japanese women with diseases that force them to have sex, and other crap as serious journalism that shows balance in reporting about Japan.
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Re: WaiWai(Mainichi-Shinbun)'s Apology

Postby sunzoltar » Mon 06.30.2008 9:21 am

Perhaps we should have a Purity Squad to decide which Japanese articles are appropriate to translate for a Western audience? It sounds like you would volunteer to be the editor in chief? Japanese newspapers are notoriously boring because they focus on increasing their subscriber base by writing articles that would offend nobody. The void in the news cycle is filled by weekly magazines, many of which are owned directly by the newspapers. These weekly magazines provided the sources for the WaiWai articles. While the weeklies offer some sensational articles, they are also one of the few news outlets in Japan to offer real opinion articles and articles critical of the status quo. I, for one, would prefer to see more articles from weeklies and other non-newspaper sources translated and discussed in English, rather than the milk-toast offerings from Japan's five major news outlets. --and no, I am not affiliated with Mainichi or any newspaper. I am just a reader, disappointed to to find a section of my news cut out by self-styled censors.
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