Asia Pacific Media Educator


J. O'Dwyer


The press gallery system that developed in the British parliament in the 18th and 19th centuries has become the basis upon which the political media systems have developed in Australia and Japan. Despite cultural differences, the formal and informal mechanisms by which the galleries operate are similar, as are the criticisms and controversies that arise. The Japanese kisha (press) club system is not a unique aberration, but rather a more extreme version of the Australian, British and United States’ press club systems. This paper argues that, at its core, the Japanese kisha club system operates formally and informally in a similar manner to the Australian and British press club systems, but a combination of cultural characteristics and 50 years of almost uninterrupted rule by one political party have resulted in it developing some unique, and from a liberal perspective, concerning traits.