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.


7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

Updated 24 April 2018
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7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

LONDON: Do you have a camel at home? Is there an oil wheel in your garden? These are some of the least-informed questions that Dr. Ali Rashid Al-Nuaimi, editor-in-chief of the new media platform 7D News, has encountered on visits to the West.
Al-Nuaimi, a UAE national and member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, said he spotted a gap in the online media market for an outlet “that is a force for good, not just reportage.”
This begins with unpicking stereotypes about the Middle East, Al-Nuaimi said during an interview at the 7D News launch party in London on Thursday.
“What people here in the West know about the Arab world is terrorism, wars, discrimination against women … we want to change it,” he said.
Serving up daily news blasts complemented by background pieces that aim to show “the stories behind the headlines,” as the news service’s slogan reads, the site plans to provide a fresh perspective on the region, beginning with coverage showcasing the “achievements of the UAE.”
Al-Nuaimi said that the London-based news site — which is owned by Emirates Media and Research — was initially envisioned as an Arabic platform.
But Al-Nuaimi decided that English had a more international reach, and said the site will be completely impartial. “There won’t be any no-go areas,” he said.
Basing the site out of London, with reporters in cities around the world, he hopes to have a global impact by targeting an “elite audience” of readers and viewers with the scope to “impact their community.”
This means politicians, public figures, community leaders — those in a position to make a difference, Al-Nuaimi said. Issues including tolerance, integration, extremism and peace-building will be high on the agenda, with a focus on spotlighting leaders contributing to their community.
“I came from a background where I saw the added value of media in countering extremism,” he said.
“We want to look into news, incidents, events with angles that bring people together (rather than) dividing them, bridging the gaps between different cultures, different religions. I think this is a vacuum that needs to be filled.”
Humaira Patel, a reporter who recently joined the 7D team said the platform will feature “news that brings out the best.”
“I think 7D will be different,” she said.