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Top>HAKUMON Chuo [2012 Summer Issue]>[London Olympics Feature: Commemorating participation and celebrating medals] The first student to compete in a track and field Olympic event in 48 years Olympics created by continual coaching from high school


Reporting on workplaces of Chuo alumni

Front page headline on a sports newspaper
Influencing the newspaper's sales and showing the skill of journalists

Yuki Toyoda
Assistant Page Editor
Sankei Sports Copy Division

Three student reporters visited a Chuo alumnus who writes the front page headline on a sports newspaper, despite having a science background.
Yuki Toyoda (40) works as Assistant Page Editor of the Sankei Sports Editing Department at the Sankei Shimbun Tokyo Head Office in Otemachi, Tokyo. He graduated from the Department of Mathematics at the Chuo University Faculty of Science and Engineering. Why did Mr. Toyoda, who originally wanted to be a math teacher, select his current work?

Student reports (photograph by Mr. Hirofumi Seito, Manager of the Photography Department for the Yukan Fuji Newspaper, Sankei Shimbun)

A lifestyle in which day and night are reversed

Working hard on the electronic newspaper

Mr. Toyoda goes to work at two in the afternoon and finishes work at around two in the morning.

After finishing work, he checks the newspaper television guide for morning programming on each station, after which he finally goes to bed. His days and nights are almost completely reversed.

It was the first time that we student reporters had heard of the Copy Division. Unlike the image of newspaper reporters who run from place to place to get the latest information, employees of the Copy Division remain inside the company. They read drafts, create headlines, select photographs, and decide which articles to enlarge and which ones to shrink.

In other words, the Copy Division has the important job of supervising page layout and structure. Just like the names of reporters, Page Layout: Yuki Toyoda is written in the newspaper. It is a position of great responsibility.

Particular care is give to creating a headline for the front page. In this headline, the editing department conveys their opinion and feelings through just a few short words. Will the headline correctly convey these points to readers? Mr. Toyoda says that selecting a headline involves repeated consideration.

Front page headline contains wordplay

On the day of our report, Mr. Toyoda used the front page from the June 1st newspaper to help him explain. The Japanese Baseball League had held interleague games on the day before our report, and the biggest news was that the Yakult Swallows losing streak had stopped at 10. It was an important win in which the Yakult batters got a lot of hits from Nippon Ham Fighter pitcher Yuki Saito, who is affectionately known as Yu-chan.

The front page headline for the Sankei Sports newspaper (Tokyo edition) read as follows:

Yu is rocked for hits as the losing streak is broken!!
Yakult celebrates winning again!
Hatakeyama hits first homer in 174 at-bats! Romping to a 10-run win.

Around the headline, images of fireworks exploded in three places. The headline layout truly gives the image of a celebration.

"Sports newspapers should be enjoyable upon first glance," says Mr. Toyoda. "We use wordplay. This is different from normal newspapers."

The headlines thought of by Mr. Toyoda are approved by his boss before being printed in the newspaper.

Mr. Toyoda's hit headline came during a period when the Yomiuri Giants' pitchers were giving up a lot of hits. He created the headline of Weak Giant Pitchers by altering the title of White Giant Tower, which was a popular television drama at the time. The headline was well-received and Mr. Toyoda won the Manager's Prize.

Studied in the Department of Mathematics; wanted to be a teacher

"I entered the math department because I like numbers. I wanted to become a math teacher."

Mr. Toyoda studied in the Department of Mathematics at the Chuo University Faculty of Science and Engineering. When searching for employment, he received job offers from two information system companies. Afterwards, he had the opportunity to work part-time at the horse racing magazine Gallop (published by Sankei Sports). He started the part-time job with the intention of working for a short period before starting full-time work in information systems.

"I experienced all kinds of editing work from making appointments to writing article drafts," says Mr. Toyoda. "It was a workplace which tested my creativity and originality."

He refused his job offers and continued to work part-time. Although his parents disapproved of his decision, his performance was recognized and he was hired as a full-time employee of Sankei Shimbun. He was assigned to the Sankei Sports Editing Department.

Also experienced the Digital Division

Afterwards, Mr. Toyoda was transferred to Sankei Digital, part of the Digital Division which is a priority project of Sankei Shimbun. He then returned to the Editing Department. In the Digital Division, he studied web newspapers and wrote article drafts.

"In addition to the appeal of the internet, I felt the appeal of the paper medium," reflects Mr. Toyoda. "In the case of internet articles, top priority is given to the speed of reporting. Therefore, it is OK to simply list the articles. In the case of newspapers it is necessary to play with articles to find the best size. I find that work enjoyable."

The page layout of newspapers is changed when breaking news is reported. The completed design is discarded and recreated to emphasize the new story. For the morning edition, this kind of busy editing work continues from evening until just before dawn. In many cases, there is not time to meet deadlines. A great amount of work is performed sufficiently in a short time.

"Actually, I really enjoy running around and being busy," says Mr. Toyoda.

Mr. Toyoda appears fulfilled by his job of working with and creating news. His work seems to differ from both the sciences and humanities.

(Student Reporter: Hitoshi Saimaru; 2nd year student in the Faculty of Letters)

After the reporting visit
Roughly dressed employees struggle to meet deadlines

(Student Reporter: Haruhiko Ishizaki; 1st year student in the Faculty of Letters)

Overwhelmed by the exterior appearance

Sankei Building, Tokyo

Upon exiting Otemachi Station on the Tokyo Metro Line, I immediately saw an overwhelming 31-story building that almost seemed too big to be a newspaper company. The black building features a curved design. The building exterior truly gives the impression of a highly reputed company. As I expected, the building interior was also very beautiful. I felt excited to experience a major company in the media field.

Photographs of idols posted in the workplace

However, the atmosphere transformed completely once I was shown to my destination of the Sankei Sports Editing Department. It was if the world had changed.

Not to be rude, but there was no sense of elegance or style. Everyone had a rough appearance. There were even people in T-shirts and shorts. Photographs of female idols were posted throughout the workplace, and there was a motley, macho atmosphere. Everyone was working hard without concern for appearances.

I had heard that newspaper editing is a battle with time. It is unacceptable to move slowly. In that respect, the workplace which I saw appeared very exciting and cool.

Life is full of surprises

In addition to Mr. Toyoda, several other employees are also graduates of Chuo University. Everyone gave us a warm welcome. Mr. Toyoda was nice enough to discuss a wide range of issues such as newspaper-related topics and his own time as a university student.

In actuality, the front page headline is created through rational calculation, something that really impressed. "I think," said Mr. Toyoda, "the order of photograph-headline-article is important. This order of importance is unique to sports newspapers."

I was shocked by Mr. Toyoda's daily schedule of reporting to work at 2pm and leaving work at 2am. Everything I learned during my visit was surprising and extremely interesting to someone seeks a future career in mass media.

Be curious

Mr. Toyoda also gave me advice which is useful for life. Despite receiving job offers from information system companies, he began part-time work in the editing department of a horse racing magazine during October in the 4th year of university. Ultimately, this part-time work became his future profession. This shows that it is impossible to predict what will lead you to your future career path.

"I encourage students to be curious and actively pursue what interests them," emphasizes Mr. Toyoda. I was greatly stimulated by his words. Personally, I had become prone to unconsciously seeking safety and peace of mind. My fear of making a mistake had been preventing me from taking on new challenges.

However, my frame of mind has changed. Life is full of surprises. Also, I have become even more interested in a future career in mass media. I will take on new challenges and never relinquish my dream. It was a very meaningful visit with a Chuo University alumnus.

First reporting experience in my life-Considering the image of working women

(Student Reporter: Miki Nakata; 3rd year student in the Faculty of Law)

Sensation which cannot be obtained from printed words

Assistant Manager Hayami of the Editing Department is a Chuo University alumnus

My recent reporting assignment was the first time that I tried reporting in my life.

I first learned of student reporters during the spring of my 3rd year in university. I immediately decided to try reporting out of a desire to improve myself. Despite my late start, I gathered my courage and tried reporting.

The Sankei Sports Editing Department is located inside of a high-rise building. There were many people working there.

For me, it was fresh and stimulating to hear the direct opinions and perspectives of working professionals. I learned a lot from the experience. By actually visiting and observing the Editing Department, I absorbed direct sensations which cannot be obtained from printed words.

Cooking class?!

It is taking for granted that newspapers will be delivered every day. However, a great number of people work very hard to create newspapers. It was the first time that I learned this fact. Through my visit, I learned to be grateful for the media of newspaper. Also, I gained more insight into the meaning of working before starting my own job search.

Mr. Toyoda is responsible for creating the headline of a sports newspaper. I learned that headlines are a very important part of newspapers. Mr. Toyoda also discussed his own techniques and secrets, which was very enlightening. He even discussed his student life during university, as well as how he spends his days off taking cooking classes and English lessons.

My greatest area of interest was working women. In the Copy Division of the Editing Department where Mr. Toyoda works, 3 of the 50 employees are women. There is no difference in work duties or discrimination due to gender.

There is also a management position called Desk which is fulfilled by a woman. It seems that there is an increasing opportunity for women to work. There is also work that is best performed by a woman and work which utilizes the unique perspective of women.

My image of working women became more realistic when I observed women working on the editing floor. I felt the appeal of an environment where men and women can work together equally.

Fulfilling work

"It is important to find what you like and actively pursue it," said Mr. Toyoda when giving a message to students.

According to Mr. Toyoda, his principle for working is "being curious." I was impressed by how he gallantly returned to work when our interview was finished.

Mr. Toyoda seemed brilliant in how he is fulfilled by his profession and works with such energy. I genuinely felt that I want to work with the same kind of energy.

Company Information: Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd.
First published in 1933. Publishes newspapers from its Tokyo Head Office and Osaka Head Office. In addition to the Sankei Shimbun, publishes various newspapers including Sankei Sports, Yukan Fuji, Sankei Express and Fuji Sankei Business Eye. Has an overseas study program for new employees.
The 2013 company information for prospective employees contains the following quote from the recruitment supervisor: "The times continue to change and all of us have become constant witnesses. However, when conveying such information, it is important to focus on conveying the facts. For that purpose, it is necessary to thoroughly pursue the truth and act accurately. Our company seeks new employees who posses that ability to think and act."
Advice to Chuo University students
"No matter what your age, never forget to be curious and inquisitive."