Current Institutional Affiliation
Retired, San Francisco Chronicle

Charles Burress has written about Japan- related topics for the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a staff writer
for 25 years, and several other publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Japanese
Newsweek, International Herald Tribune/Asahi Shimbun, Chuo Koron, Journalism (journal published by the Asahi
newspaper company), Japan Times, Winds (JAL magaz ine) and others.
He was a visiting researcher in Japan for a total of three years: on a Fulbright scholarship in 1996- 97 at the
University of Tokyo, on an Abe Fellowship in 1999- 2000 at the University of Tokyo, and again on a Fulbright
scholarship in 2005- 06 at the University of Tokyo and Keio University. He has received numerous journalism
awards, served as a judge for journalism contests and taught as a lecturer for a class on covering Japan at the
Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. He left the Chronicle in 2009 and worked
nearly four years as an editor for AOL’s national network of Patch news sites. He then served two and a half years
as Director of Communications for the Mayor’s Office in Berkeley, CA, and three years as the Public Information
Officer for Berkeley public schools. He holds a master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley and bachelor’s in
government from Harvard

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Staff Writer, Editorial, San Francisco Chronicle
US Media Coverage of Japan: Does America See Japan Through A Glass Darkly?

Few institutions are as fundamental to American public understanding of Japan as the news media. A lively debate over US press coverage of Japan has been waged in several conferences, studies, articles and books in the past decade, but the results are scattered, largely unknown and frustratingly contradictory. The often-heard charges that the American media presents distorted images that damage the US-Japan relationship deserve further investigation. This project will examine the topic in three ways: 1) gather and assess existing studies in an attempt to reconcile the various findings; 2) examine three key areas of press coverage in depth- trade friction over the autos, how Japan is coming to terms with World War II, and the role of women in Japanese society; 3) and offer an interpretive analysis by evaluating the dominant theories in the debate, comparing the coverage to foreign reporting of other nations, proposing new approaches in analysis, and recommending appropriate remedies.