am grateful The Japan Times covered the student protests at Hosei University in David McNeill’s June 9 Zeit Gist article, “Rumpus on campus.” I found it to be fair and informative.
On the other hand, the letter that appeared five days later in response, “The protesters at Hosei University,” left me puzzled. Was it a joke? Or was it a pathetic attempt by a university administrator to contain the damage? The letter states that the photo accompanying the article showed a “kind of performance” of a student getting knocked unconscious by thugs. Really? Who staged this “performance”? And why is there a campus guard next to one of the supposed nonthugs?
As McNeill points out in his article, the university has refused to give interviews or to comment on any of the accusations by the lawyers defending the students. It’s hard to get two sides of a story when one side clams up.
What puzzles me most is that the writer of the letter complains that McNeill’s article has quotes from student sympathizers “who remain anonymous.” If the letter writer doesn’t like people to withhold their names, why didn’t the letter writer divulge his or her own name?
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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