The increasing number of lawsuits being filed in response to allegedly defamatory news articles is posing a threat to media organizations and freedom of expression by discouraging aggressive reporting, several journalists said at a recent symposium in Saitama.

The symposium, "Pride — Fighting Journalists," was held last Friday by the Kanto regional branch of Shimbun Roren, a federation of newspaper employee unions.

Featured as panelists were three journalists — one freelance and two working for major newspapers — who have been targeted in massive lawsuits filed by major loan companies.