We wrote several months ago, “the Facebook-based Japanese Politics group is a gold mine of news and commentary. Michael Penn, head of the Shingetsu News Agency (FB Page) and frequent commentator for various news services always has important insights into Japanese politics. The website too should not be missed, especially if you are not on Facebook.”
What we wish to mention this time is that in the last year of so, the Shingetsu News Agency (SNA) has been expanding in order to better fulfill its role in the Japan-based news media landscape. Its coverage of Japanese politics, policy, and social phenomena is unparalleled, both in the mainstream Japanese and western media. As Michael Penn has noted, SNA believes that “too much of what passes for journalism today serves the interests of the wealthy and powerful, rather than performing its vital watchdog role for all citizens. In the case of Japan, much of what is available in English language about politics and international relations to be, as a rule, both timid and bland. Our aim is precisely to give voice to the voiceless and to challenge powerful institutions with factual, hard-hitting, and incisive analysis”.
As part of its expansion, SNA has been bringing on board other talented journalists and videographers. SNA’s president, Michael Penn, with thirty years’ experience studying global history and politics and more than twenty years’ experience in Japan, is at the center of operations, which also includes work commissioned for various news and scholarly organizations networks such as Aljazeera, Asia-Pacific Journal, France 24, Penn is author of the book Japan and the War on Terror: Military Force and Political Pressure in the US-Japanese Alliance, issued by an academic publishing house in the United Kingdom in 2014.
Articles by other journalists have started to appear on the website, such as these by Jeremy Harley, an editor, co-founder of both the Mabashi Movie Festival and the first Mahrajan Tokyo, a literature festival that brought writers from Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt, haley is also translator of films and other works including Koki Ebata’s “Transgender Trouble,” Chie Mikami’s “The Targeted Island,” Hajime Matsumoto’s foolish treatise “Revenge of the Poor!,” and Koichi Toyama’s 2008 US presidential election campaign video.
These are some of his articles: DHC Television: Cosmetics and Conspiracy Theories, Escape from Freedom: An Interview with Filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda and Abe Not True Champion for North Korea Abductees
Other journalists of note include Andy Cline, who has contributed Climate Change Impacting Japan, Developing the Attitude for Sustainability, Japan Lags on Socially Responsible Business Investment, TEPCO and the Democratization of Energy Markets and The Meat Paradox and Factory Farming.
Where you as the reader/viewer come in is that you can support SNA and help it hire more journalists and videographers. The easiest way is list SNA’s Patreon site. In addition to all the free content on the SNA website, its presence on Facebook (1) and (2), Twitter and YouTube, contributors of 20 dollars a month will receive multiple email briefs weekly. Those who contribute 1oo dollars a month receive a biweekly news summary (twice a month) and special reports, in addition to the briefs. And for 500 dollars or more a month, there are even bigger subscriber bonuses. Of course, you can help out by contributing any amount, happy in the knowledge that you will be helping SNA grow.