Japan’s TBS slams ethical errors

Co. punishes 32 employees

TOKYO — The TBS net and a TBS production subsid have punished 32 employees, including 19 execs, for ethical breaches in reporting various stories, net officials revealed Wednesday.

In the first incident, industry watchdog the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (BPO) found that a TBS morning show exaggerated claims and misreported facts in its coverage of the scandal surrounding Fujiya, a nationwide bakery that admitted using out-of-date ingredients.

In the second, TBS reporters were found to be eavesdropping on 15-year-old amateur golf sensation Ryo Ishikawa for daytime infotainment show “Ping Pong!.” Producers for the TBS news show “Evening 5” sent a helicopter buzzing over a tourney in which Ishikawa was competing without permission.

Hiroshi Inoue, the prexy of TBS and subsid Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, has taken a 20% pay cut for one month to show contrition; 19 execs from the two companies were hit with 5% to 10% cuts. 

Three producers involved in the Fujiya segment took pay cuts while two other execs were given work suspensions of two and three days.

The chief director responsible for the eavesdropping incident was given a pay cut while four employees involved were censured. Five staffers responsible for the helicopter flight were also censured.

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