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By 西川 祐子, Yuko NISHIKAWA, 京都文教大学人間学部 and KYOTO BUNKYO UNIVERSITY Department of Human Studies


UNKThe new towns are artificially designed suburbs and their spatial designs show some standardised pattern. The new towns are created by strategic planning within the framework of the national land development. The inhabitants come from different places and often feel isolated after they settle in standardised, well-planned, and or dered towns. They need information and communication. Thus in the 1980\u27s, more than ten years after the construction of new towns in suburbs of the principal cities of Japan, many community media and "mini-comi" papers were published in new towns. "Mini-comi" is an English word coined in Japan as an antonym for mass communication media (i.e. it is an abbreviation for "mini communication media"), and it means a small newspaper, newsletter, leaflet or magazine, which circulates within a relatively small group of readers. This article details the survey of Kozoji New Town(1968-) and its mini-comi paper, Town News, thinking about new towns in terms of media theory. Roger Silverstone suggests that "we should be thinking about media as a process of mediation." Town News is inscribed with the motto "Link people together. Link people and community together" above the title. This article deals with twenty years of activities of Town News as process of mediation. The contents of the survey are twofold: 1) all the back numbers of a local community paper called Town News which has been published monthly or fortnightly in the last twenty years for inhabitants of Kozoji New Town and its outskirts by the female editors and publishers, 2) an interview with one of its editorial publishers, Akiyo Hayashi. Hayashi, the editorial publisher of Town News calls their newsletter a "jnini-comi" paper. Despite Hayashi\u27s opinion. Town News has characteristics paradoxically both suitable and unsuitable for a "mini-comi" paper. This article pays attention to these two, or rather three paradoxes of Town News. Firstly, although calling it a "minicomi" paper. Town News has a circulation of 35,000. It is a community-based informational leaflet funded by advertising revenue. The publishers pay delivery rates for the newspapers\u27 delivery offices to insert Town News in the major commercial newspapers for circulation. Town News is a "mini communication medium" which depends on the mass media. The second paradox is in the aspect of Town News as "the \u27mini-comi\u27 paper of an anonymous society." Publications called "mini-comi" are generally handmade and circulated personally by the addressers. The addressers and the addressees of the "minicomi" are often acquainted with each other. Town News, which was edited first by four and then two housewives, at first aimed at only housewives, many of whom lived in Kozoji New Town. The articles are written in a friendly, familiar style, so that the reporters seem to be speaking to the readers as a peer. The distance between the reporters and the readers is close and this makes the readers think the position of the addresser and the addressee are interchangeable at any time. Town News allowed space for readers\u27 views such as readers\u27 column and discussions. It also has made an effort to create opportunities to meet the readers by holding concerts, seminars, and so forth. Indeed, one event attracted five hundred people and nearly one thousand post cards arrived for a prize contest, however, these visible readers are less than one percent of the circulation of 35,000. Town News was reformed in 1995, in the second half of its 20 years of history; they changed Town News from an informational paper for housewives to a community paper. They re-established the publication of Town News as business that made the editorial publisher a business owner who had succeed in finding her way out of being a full-time housewife. In fact, reading the second half of the back numbers reveals that there are some problems difficult to solve solely by individuals. Although each individual has different standpoint, interest, and cultural background, all of them need to face prominent problems of aged care and the rapid increase of the percentage of older people and the decrease in the number of children. Town News responded to their needs. The third paradox of Town News is the transient nature of a "mini-comi" paper as "disposable after single reading" even though the publishers give their whole mind to create Town News. Despite its transient nature, few residents do not know about Town News, this small paper is woven into the everyday lives of inhabitants in Kozoji New Town. Town News, which can be disposed of freely, does not force a message on readers and moderately mediates or links people. It is an appropriate medium for inhabitants who seek a way of communal living, and avoid any forms of compulsion. Those three paradoxes of Totm News represent the characteristics of an appropriate medium for the new town. A new town is neither a virtual space nor an empirical space; it includes both virtual and empirical factors. It suggests the whole process of mediation among streams of people and information. After Akiyo Hayashi graduated" from Town News, she started the "Expanet" website which introduces people with unique talents and skills and provides event planning. Her twenty years of experience with Town News allowed her to establish many relationships and build a network for resources. However, Hayashi claims that her website is not a human resources business; she only mediates between two sources of information

Topics: ニュータウン, 地域ミニコミ紙, コミュニケーション, メディエーション, 記憶
Year: 2004
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