Foreign Correspondents in Japan: Reporting a Half Century of Upheavals, from 1945 to the Present

Foreign Correspondents in Japan: Reporting a Half Century of Upheavals, from 1945 to the Present

Foreign Correspondents in Japan: Reporting a Half Century of Upheavals, from 1945 to the Present

Foreign Correspondents in Japan: Reporting a Half Century of Upheavals, from 1945 to the Present

Synopsis

Founded in 1945, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan has been a haven for working journalists. This collection of their own accounts allows a behind-the-scenes look at how these journalists - including Pulitzer Prize Recipients - covered Asia during this dramatic era.

Excerpt

Somehow the half-century mark seems the time for people to get serious about recording histories of organizations special to them. It’s when notice is taken of the dwindling number of those with direct knowledge of the early years and anecdotal memories of an institution. So it was with the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in December of 1996, a year after the Club’s fiftieth anniversary and following a memorial evening when we honored four members who had died during that year. Our then president, Will Dawkins of the Financial Times, in response to my lament on the dwindling few and lack of a historical record, asked if I would put one together for the fccj while witnesses of its origins still survived. I agreed.

On reflection, however, the task seemed too much for any one person to complete within a reasonable time frame, especially since other responsibilities prevented giving full time to the project. So, on the assumption that competent journalists could objectively “report” the history of the Club based on the fundamentals-who, what, where, when, why, how-and flesh it out with insightful or humorous anecdotes, I devised a plan to assign a decade to each of five Club members selected on the basis of their experience and their knowledge of the Club. a guideline was prepared, which essentially asked each “decade editor” to research and write up his decade just as he would any news story, in order to avoid receiving five diverse essays on fccj history.

Day Inoshita, who at one time or another worked for almost all the major news agencies, was selected for the first decade, 1945–54, because of his familiarity with that period. Jack Russell, with his long experience at nbc and other news organizations, as well as being a past president of the fccj, was chosen for the second decade. For the third decade, past president Swadesh DeRoy was chosen for similar reasons, except that his background was with the Times of London, Visnews, and the Press Trust of India. Bob Neff with his Business Week background and knowledge of the Club fit the fourth decade neatly. Pat Killen, formerly of upi and long-time editor of our house organ, No. 1 Shimbun, was chosen for the last decade and also as a member of the three-man History Committee. Nick Ingleton, an experienced editor and publisher as well as a long-time Club member, joined the committee as our third member and contributed to planning and to our efforts to find an appropriate publisher.

The plan, too, called for the liberal use of photos, with captions that would complement the text. These were drawn primarily from fccj archives and . . .

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