Increasing information originator is absolutely essential – Interview to Editing Director of Digital Kahoku Shinpo

Mr. Yanami, Editing Director of Digital Kahoku Shinpo

Mr. Yanami, Editing Director of Digital Kahoku Shinpo

The number of media which report on the disaster areas in Tohoku is decreasing as a level of people’s interest in the reconstruction activities is gradually fading. On the other hand, funding and human resources are still required in the areas and accordingly the demand for communication from Tohoku is increasing.

Kahoku Shinpo, the biggest local newspaper in Tohoku, has operated its own SNS, “Hura-tto” (dual meanings of “Casual drop-in and Flat” in Japanese sounds) since 2007. After the big earthquake disaster, “Hura-tto” opened its blog page of “Information Volunteer”, and through the page Kahoku Shinpo’s professional news reporters deliver the disaster area information to the world, partnering with NPOs and universities in the areas. Jointly with the partners, the blog page has been playing an important role to originate and deliver information from viewpoints of citizens and the professionals.

These efforts are pretty meaningful, more than just information dissemination. Through the efforts, Kahoku Shinpo has been sharing its professional skills and know-how with the partners, providing them with the place for their information generation and delivery. Amid the ever-changing situation at the reconstruction sites, it has come into the phase having the specific needs in each region. Importance of originating and delivering information from a person who has faced the situation at each site is increasing. “We need to increase the number of people to originate information. The new information providers would come alive as a major force in the case of disasters that may occur in the future.” Mr. Hideaki Yanami, Editing Director who runs “Hura-tto” and “Information Volunteer”, said.

Then, what should we pay our attention to, when originating information? Responding to the question, Mr. Aihara of the editing group of Digital Kahoku Shinpo said, “Blogs and social media are both just tools for information delivery. Imagine readers and consider structure and expression that readers can easily understand. And repeat the process.” Mr. Yanami was advising, “Ask yourself whether you are facing people and things you need to be.” The responses from the two gentlemen suggest that important information is always in the field which is mostly offline.

In the reconstruction process, the words of “live close each other” are frequently used. Mr. Yanami, who used to be a member of a choir, elaborated on the meaning of the words as follows. “In order to make a good sound, you need to synchronize your breath with the others. In information dissemination as well, listening to the others’ breathing, or such stance would be required.”

While listening to the breathing of the people, as a team of information originators, we would like to be polite and careful in the communication process.


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