Last week, NHK reported that the three employees accused of insider trading were guilty and would be fined somewhere in the region of JPY60,000 to JPY490,000. It was revealed that the accused only made JPY100,000 to JPY500,000 in profits for insider trading—a shockingly small amount considering the trouble that this has caused them.
However, even more shockingly, the NHK are not going to fire the employees. Although this may show solidarity in this time of scandal and chaos for them, as a public relations tactic, surely this is a huge failure? No matter how small the amount profited and whether it was just once or not, insider trading causes great distrust and outrage from fee-paying viewers.
This scandal also leaves open the question for other past problems that the NHK have faced—for instance, the NHK reported a raid on “livedoor” before the raid actually took place. Of course, viewers will wonder whether any trading took place using that advance information.
Although the NHK president has already resigned over this, a resignation is not a complete solution. The NHK need to implement a form of J-SOX to re-build public trust and show that the right governance along with an updated security administration, which has hardly changed in 20 years, can show that not only is ethics preached in the ‘public service broadcaster’ but systems are in place to limit any employee who perhaps is not as ethically adapt as the NHK imagine them to be.
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