The 706th Mita Public Speaking Event: Power of Authority and Journalism
June 25, 2018
On Thursday, June 14, Keio University’s time-honored Mita Public Speaking Event was held at the Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan). At this 706th event, Takuo Takihana, former president of Yomiuri Shimbun, gave a lecture titled "Power of Authority and Journalism."
After touching on his ambitions to become a journalist during his student days and the state of Japanese society at that time, Takihana alluded to the failure by journalists at US President Trump’s press conference after the Kim-Trump summit of June 12, to ask pointed questions, asserting that the scene at this interview perfectly illustrates the nature of the current relationship between those in power and journalists. Furthermore, using news reporting in Japan and the US in recent years as examples, he said that truthful writing, despite the risks that this may involve, is likely to prove more beneficial to the public interest than that which does not record truths due to obstructions from those in power. He added that a professional journalist should have a solid understanding of "public opinion" and accurately discern what is currently happening to pursue the truth, and even though the forms of media have diversified in recent times, this essence has not changed.
Keio faculty and staff members, students, and members of the general public filled the hall to capacity, with some having to stand to hear the lecture on a day blessed with fine weather.
Takuo Takihana delivering the lecture
Venue filled to capacity
Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan), the event venue
During the questions and answers session
Inside the Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan)