50 Years of NHK Television

230 employees on standby230 employees on standby
In readiness for disaster reporting, about one-third of all News Department employees, around 300 people, live within five kilometers of a broadcast center and are told to come to the center on foot in the event of an emergency. Helicopters are indispensable in the aftermath of many disasters, so NHK keeps 11 of them at the ready in nine locations throughout Japan. In Tokyo and Osaka, cameramen, pilots and technicians are kept on standby for immediate take-off 24 hours a day.
Preserving lives and property in the event of a disaster or emergency is an important function of NHK as a public broadcaster. NHK works tirelessly to fulfill this responsibility by acquiring the very latest equipment.

The latest HDTV-equipped helicopter was deployed in February 2002.
The latest HDTV-equipped helicopter was deployed in February 2002.

Digital disaster reporting
In disaster reporting, too, the digital era has become a time of new technological initiative. In 2002, as Typhoons 6 and 7 threatened to slam into the Japanese archipelago in rapid succession, NHK set up a special website providing typhoon information that could be accessed not only via the Internet but also by mobile phones. The web address was repeatedly announced on TV news broadcasts, and the page provided detailed information about each new development in the typhoon's position as well as the casualty, evacuation and transport situations.
NHK stations in areas in the typhoon's path set up their own web pages: 21 of them in the case of Typhoon 6, and 28 for Typhoon 7. When Typhoon 6 came ashore on July 10, the NHK web pages registered 8.41 million page views; when Typhoon 7 followed five days later, the figure hit 8.96 million. The typhoon info page for mobile Internet users clocked 850,000 page views on July 16. A public broadcasting service that can be utilized anywhere, anytime is steadily evolving.

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