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From newsprint to new media


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From newsprint to new media

  1. 1. From Newsprint to New Media:The Evolving Role of Nikkei Newspapers<br />Presented by Discover NikkeiJapanese American National MuseumApril 2, 2011Gil Asakawa<br />
  2. 2. Bill Hosokawa at Cody Enterprise printing the Heart Mountain Sentinel (Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley)<br />
  3. 3. The earliest Nikkei newspapers served immigrant communities with news about each other, and news from home.<br />Japan is one of the most heavily newspaper-centric countries in the world, even today, with several national newspapers. The main Japanese papers, Yomiuri, Mainichi and Asahi, were all established before Japanese began emigrating to the U.S.<br />Nikkei newspapers focused over time on JA issues such as fighting Alien Land Laws and discussing the emerging identity of the Nisei and later, Sansei, generations.<br />A lifeline to a community <br />
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  5. 5. 1899 – NichibeiShimbun started by KyutaroAbiko in SF; evolved into NichiBei Times after WWII, and since 2009 NichiBei Weekly non-profit newspaper under leadership of Kenji Taguma. First to appeal specifically to Nisei readers after the Immigration Act of 1924. <br />1903 -- RafuShimpofounded by RippoIijima, Masaharu Yamaguchi and Seijiro Shibuya to serve Los Angeles Japanese. Henry Komai became manager in 1914 and president in 1922.<br />1912 – First Japanese newspapers were printed in Hawaii in 1892 but Kinzaburo Makino established the Nikkei voice for good with the Hawaii Hochi, which urged readers to cut ties with Japan. The name was changed to Hawaii Herald in 1942 but reverted after the war.<br />Have you heard the news?<br />
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  7. 7. The Rafu added a weekly English section in 1926 and a daily English section in 1932, and also special English-language Holiday and Graduation issues, reflecting the growing Americanization of the Nisei generation.<br />During the 1930s other Nikkei newspapers launched English sections, and English-only newspapers such as the Japanese American Courier and JACL’s Pacific Citizen were started. The Nisei were coming of age.<br />During WWII, the major newspapers went on hiatus, but papers such as Jimmy Omura’s Rocky Shimpo published in Denver, and each internment camp had its own newspaper. The ironically named Manzanar Free Press was publishing within a month of the camp’s opening in March, 1942.<br />Generation gap<br />
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  9. 9. Not just Japanese community newspapers and other “vernacular” press for immigrant communities, but mainstream news companies.<br />Tribune went through a bankruptcy, so did MediaNews Group, parent company of The Denver Post (coincidentally where Bill Hosokawa worked for four decades) and San Jose Mercury News, also went through bankruptcy.<br />Major metro newspapers like the Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer shut down, and others have gone to printing only on some days (Detroit Free Press and Detroit News).<br />Nikkei Newspapers and the “vernacular” press in general have been harder hit. The Rocky Mountain Jiho shut down after decades of struggling. Hokubei Mainichi.<br />Hard times for newspapers<br />
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  11. 11. Facebook and other social media<br />My mom watches NHK all day every dayon satellite<br />When I travel to the West Coast I watch Japanese stations on hotel TVs (to practice my Nihongo)<br />The Internet allows us to read directly both Japanese and English news sources in Japan: Mainichi Shimbun, Japan Times, Yomiuri Shimbun, NHK in Japanese or English<br />Blogs: Cultural News, Nikkei Nation, Nikkei View<br />No wonder our community newspapers are having a difficult time!<br />How we get the news today<br />
  12. 12. “…To give a voice to the voiceless, to make sure that our community was not taken advantage of, and to reclaim our history.” <br />- Kenji Taguma, NichiBei Editor-in-Chief<br />