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NHK Disciplines Employees over COVID-19 Report

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
NHK headquarter building in Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Public broadcaster NHK has announced disciplinary measures against a total of four employees over a news report on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In NHK’s “News Watch 9” program on May 15, relatives of persons who died after receiving COVID-19 vaccines were presented as if they lost the persons due to COVID-19 infection.

On Friday, NHK said that it will suspend two employees involved in the news report in question for 14 days, give a pay cut to an official in charge of the TV program, reprimand the program’s chief news editor.

According to NHK, one of the two employees failed to properly reflect the points of the bereaved relatives’ comments in the news report, and the other, a superior, neglected to provide appropriate guidance and risk management.

The employee had little experience in news reporting and wrongly believed that relatives of vaccination victims can be broadly recognized as those who lost their relatives in the pandemic.

The program was previewed twice before being aired. NHK will give an admonition or warning to three officials who previewed the program and the then head of its video center.

In a statement, NHK said it apologizes again to the bereaved relatives and viewers and will work to restore trust by strengthening its checking system and journalist training.