Japanese reporter died after 159 hours of overtime

Miwa Sado died of congestive heart failure in 2013 after working 159 hours and 37 minutes of overtime in one month. (AFP)
Updated 06 October 2017
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Japanese reporter died after 159 hours of overtime

TOKYO: Japan’s public broadcaster has vowed to reform its working practices as it revealed that a young reporter died of heart failure after logging 159 hours of overtime in a month.
NHK reporter Miwa Sado, 31, who had been covering political news in Tokyo, was found dead in her bed in July 2013, reportedly clutching her mobile phone.
A year later, Japanese authorities said her death was linked to excessive overtime. She had two days off in the month before she died.
NHK eventually made the case public four years afterwards, bowing to pressure from Sado’s parents to take action to prevent a recurrence.
The case again highlights the Japanese problem of karoshi, or death from overwork, amid the country’s notoriously long work hours.
It is also an embarrassing revelation for NHK, which has campaigned against the nation’s long working culture.
Sato covered Tokyo assembly elections in June 2013 and an upper-house vote for the national parliament the following month.
She died three days after the upper-house election.
“My heart breaks at the thought that she may have wanted to call me” in her last moments, her mother told the Asahi daily.
“With Miwa gone, I feel like half of my body has been torn off. I won’t be able to laugh for real for the rest of my life.”
The revelation shocked the nation as NHK has actively reported tragic deaths at other companies, including the 2015 suicide of a young woman at major advertising agency Dentsu after logging more than 100 hours of overtime a month.
The chief of NHK has pledged to improve work conditions at the broadcaster.
“We are sorry that we lost an excellent reporter and take seriously the fact that her death was recognized as work-related,” President Ryoichi Ueda said Thursday.
“We will continue to work for reform in cooperation with her parents,” he told reporters.


Facebook to clearly label political advertising in Britain, CTO says

Updated 26 April 2018
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Facebook to clearly label political advertising in Britain, CTO says

LONDON: Facebook will introduce new measures to boost transparency around adverts in Britain by June this year and require political ads to be clearly labelled, the firm’s Chief Technology Officer told a British parliamentary committee.
In a written submission to the UK parliament’s media committee, Mike Schroepfer said those wanting to run political adverts would have to complete an authorization process and the messages would also have to display who paid for them.
Facebook has said that the personal information of about 87 million users might have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign.
Lawmakers have also raised concern over the use of social media in Britain’s referendum decision to leave the European Union in 2016.
“I want to start by echoing our CEO, Mark Zuckerberg: what happened with Cambridge Analytica represents a breach of trust, and we are deeply sorry. We made mistakes and we are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Schroepfer wrote.
Earlier this month, Zuckerberg apologized to US senators for issues that have beset Facebook, including shortcomings over data protection.
But the 33-year-old Internet mogul managed to deflect any specific promises to support any congressional regulation of the world’s largest social media network and other US Internet companies.
Schroepfer, who was appearing before the British media committee on Thursday, said it was clear Facebook had not done enough to ensure its tools from “potentially being used for harm” or take a broad enough view of its responsibility.
“That was a mistake,” he wrote.