Behind the WaiWai scandal at Neojaponisme

In a FIRST-EVER collaboration with Global Voices Online’s Chris Salzberg, my translation of an article by tech journalist Toshinao Sasaki is up at Neojaponisme. As a preview, here are the key introductory paragraphs:

No doubt WaiWai is something of a household name among many Néojaponisme readers. For those who missed the recent absence of sensational, sex-fueled articles on the Mainichi English website, however, WaiWai was the name of a now-defunct feature that published sleazy, often plainly false articles loosely translated from Japanese tabloids. For years a guilty pleasure to millions in the English-speaking world, the fun came to an end this spring when a firestorm of outrage over the content broke on Internet forums such as the popular 2-Channel, leading the Mainichi to take the articles down and apologize.

While anyone can find the superficial details of what happened to WaiWai on Wikipedia or the apology on Mainichi’s website, a discussion of the larger significance of this incident has been harder to find. And significant it was — this appears to be the first time backlash from Internet-based readers posed a real threat to the business of a major media institution: a development that, as Sasaki describes, could prove “the milestone that turns the relationship between the Internet and the mass media on its head.”

Chris’s translation of the second half will follow. Now go read the rest!