The Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings Inc., founded in 1951, is the parent company of two major broadcasting companies in Japan: Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (abbreviated to TBS) and radio network named TBS Radio & Communications, Inc.
This time, international students had a chance to take part of special tour around the company, which was also an opportunity for the company to hear the opinions of foreign students of many different origins.
Our host was Ms. Sachiko Kobayashi, who started in TBS as a fresh graduate, unexpectedly working as a field cameraman. With a passion for knowledge and seeing everything by her own eyes, she was later promoted to assistant director and now works as a full producer, specialized in news programs. In very friendly and energetic manner, she gave us a guide, ID and showed us the Saturday night show, which she is producing.
TBS Television has 6 main studios. Mrs. Sachiko invited us to go to one of the studios, where we could see the control room for a live TV show! Very different from the customer side of the screen, at all moment there were staff working on every aspect of the show to make sure everything was perfect. Controls and computers everywhere made us think how difficult task it is to make a TV show. It was particularly interesting to see the director repeatedly talking to the close-up cameraman, in order to get a perfect image when the time comes. But the most thrilling part was yet to come: during an interval, we went downstairs to see the live TV show recording itself! It was everyone’s first time in a live recording set, and it was very exciting to be there and see how everything happens live!!!
After a quick group chat where we discussed the image of Japan by the eyes of the international students, we went to a news studio set to take a closer look! Around the set, we were explained that different parts of that set were used by different news programs throughout the day: one corner had the structure for the morning news, other corner for the evening news and the other for the midnight news. It was amazing to be able to be there, and also take a closer look at all the stunning cameras and equipment!
We were also able to play with the green Chroma Key and pretend to be weather news reporters! It was so difficult to point correctly to map, the news reporters must practice a lot. We also learned that the news offices are on the 2nd floor because it is the easiest for reporters to leave and run after news. It was a lot of fun, and everyone enjoyed a lot playing in the set!
As a finishing touch to our adventure, we went to see the TBS Radio studios, on the same building. We were warmly welcome by Mr.Nakamura, who showed us around. We went into a live radio studio that, although smaller than the TV one, showed us once again how people work hard to make the programs a success.
We learned many interesting facts from Mr.Nakamura. For instance, we learned that when the items are promoted in the show (TV shopping vs Radio shopping), their radio sales actually sells a lot more than TV sales! He also told us how he likes the fact that he can wear casual clothes when working on radio, which is usually not possible when working with TV. Another thing is, for the surprise of all, that radio dramas are becoming popular once again with Japanese listeners! We also saw with our own eyes the award-winning programs from TBS Radio. They are proud to be the top popular radio station for more than 13 years in a row!
Students commented “It was definitely an unforgettable experience, and I hope that we can have this kind of great experiences in Japan again.” We hope that we can continue to have this kind of opportunity where international students and professionals in Japan can interact.