Several courses in the Public Policy program proved to be important in providing the tools needed to perform my job. MPP 603, Applied Research Method in Public Policy, supplied basic skills that were constantly required in evaluating statistical documentation that crossed the news desk. Documents of interest to NHK and its viewers ranged from the Bush Administration's budget proposals to political survey data to sociological studies of American life and culture that had to be interpreted and explained to the Japanese viewing audience.
A solid grounding in the language of statistical research, and its meanings, was essential in working with these documents. In its role as broadcaster, the NHK staff could not evaluate these documents in detail, but it was necessary to read or skim a study with a clear grasp of its overall meaning and thrust. MPP 603 proved invaluable in providing the required skills for this task.
MPP 602/605, Applied Economic Analysis of Public Policy I and II, deals with the economic principles that underlay public policy choices -- ranging from the behavior of firms to national budgeting procedures and constraints, and the nature of economic policy options. While the International Political and Social Section of NHK does not deal exclusively with economic developments, this naturally makes up a large part of the daily flow of news. The Japanese TV news audience needs to have a context for American and other international economic news, which MPP 602/605 helped to provide. In particular, during my internship, NHK was involved in describing the US budgeting process and the state of the American economy, comparing the slowdown in the US economy to that of the Japanese economy in the 1990s.
MPP 651, American Democratic Culture, deals with the origins and development of American political institutions and the contemporary American political culture. This course was particularly important in working for a Ja...
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