Japan apparently has a citizen group that monitors NHK. I'm uncertaint whether it has any actual power or is purely symbolic.
Regardless, what is important about this group is that its members are challenging a policy established by NHK President Katsuto Mommii to rely strictly on government sources for information about nuclear plant conditions.
This policy was asserted in the wake of the recent earthquakes in Kyushu. The quakes were unremitting, lasting days and totaling over 1000 with two very large quakes, raising concerns about nuclear power plants in Kyushu.
The Asahi Shimbun explains:
Citizens group: NHK President Katsuto Momii must go, The Asahi Shimbun, May 10, 2016, http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201605100061.html
A citizens' group monitoring Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) has demanded the resignation of company President Katsuto Momii and urged its Board of Governors to dismiss him over his editorial policy.
Momii has been criticized for what is perceived as a pro-government stance on news reporting.
The written demand was submitted to the NHK board on May 9 by "NHK wo Kanshi Gekirei suru Shichosha Community" (Subscribers’ community to watch and encourage NHK).
The call relates to Momii's instructions to senior NHK officials last month over the coverage of the series of earthquakes that rocked Kumamoto and nearby prefectures.
At the internal meeting on April 20, he said that public broadcaster's reports on the safety of nuclear power plants should be based on official announcements by authorities rather than experts' views.
We see in this example how citizens can push back against captured media. Unfortunately, the push back is going to have to be much more ubiquitous given evidence of escalating censorship and press harassment in Japan.
During an April, 2016 Tokyo press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye, reported finding “serious threats” to media independence in Japan:
Unfortunately, the US mainstream media also over-rely on government sources, as I discuss here false narratives in media echo-chambersAssociated Press. 2016. U.N. rights expert sees threats to Japanese press independence. The Asahi Shimbun, April 19, 2016, http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201604190063.htmlU.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye, finishing a weeklong visit to Japan in which he interviewed journalists and government officials, said many Japanese journalists were feeling pressured to avoid sensitive topics, and that some told of being sidelined because of complaints from politicians. "The independence of the press is facing serious threats--a weak system of legal protection, persistent government exploitation of a media lacking in professional solidarity," Kaye told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo
I wish we in the US had more citizens groups clamoring for the establishment press to change that situation! Failures of investigative journalism allow propaganda to substitute easily for news.