The Japanese drama, The Journalist Season 1 landed on Netflix on January 13, 2022.
Written by Yoshitatsu Yamada and Kazuhisa Kodera and directed by Michihito Fuji, The Journalist Season 1 exposes the corrupt malpractices being carried out by those in powerful positions.
The Journalist Season 1 is a political drama about the nexus between the politicians and the bureaucrats to satisfy their selfish ends. It is also about the struggle of a journalist, the fourth pillar of a democratic setup, to expose these scams before the public.
This saga of power (rather a misuse of power) is relatable and quite universal. Though the story of The Journalist Season 1 is based in Japan, this could be any democratic country of the world.
The manner in which the influential people benefit heavily from their positions, how the whistleblowers are made to disappear, and how even the honest ones are also forced to support these malpractices is what is presently happening around the world.
The Plot of The Journalist Season 1
The titular journalist is Anna Matsuda, played by Ryoko Yonekura, who works for Toto news. Anna is a well known and respected journalist who takes it upon herself to deep dive to the bottom of every story.
At the beginning of The Journalist Season 1, we find Anna asking uncomfortable questions to the business tycoon Shinjiro Toyoda. Toyoda had claimed substantial government subsidies for an Artificial Intelligence Development project, which existed only on paper.
Anna’s brother Kihei Matsuda, who worked in Toyoda’s company, tried to act as a whistleblower. However, under mysterious circumstances, he goes into a vegetative state where he is unable to take any action.
Another scandal that comes to Anna’s notice is the Eschin Academy Scandal. It is a land scandal in which the first lady of Japan got a heavy discount on land purchased to establish an academy.
An honest bureaucrat named Kazuya Suzuki was transferred to the Chubu Local Finance bureau out of turn. Kazuya was forced to alter the official documents of the land deal, which made it appear that no scam has been committed.
After doing this dirty job on the government’s instruction, a guilt-ridden Kazuya commits suicide. Kazuya leaves a suicide note for his wife, containing the names of all those involved in this scam. He also leaves a pen drive for his boss Kurosaki containing all the pieces of evidence.
The Journalist Season 1 Ending Explained
Anna Matsuda collects the relevant evidence and publishes an article exposing the scam.
Mayumi, the widow of Kazuya Suzuki, decides to file a case against the authorities to protect her husband’s name. There is a public outrage against the corrupt government, making it difficult to bury the scandal.
Ryo Kinoshita, the nephew of Kazuya Suzuki, who dreams of becoming a journalist, successfully makes Murakami testify. Murakami is the former secretary of the Prime Minister’s wife, who finally realises that as a bureaucrat, his duty is to serve people.
Based on the pieces of evidence provided by Ryo, the court takes cognisance of the case.
The Journalist Season 1 ends on a positive note with Ryo’s girlfriend stating that it is the duty of the youth to sustain the truth and make the world a better place to live.
The Journalist Season 1 shows how the mighty people misuse their power, how difficult it is for ordinary people to survive in a corrupt world like ours, and how it is our responsibility to take charge and save the world from these issues.
The Journalist was initially released as a drama movie in Japan on June 28, 2019, and won six nominations and three awards at the Japan Academy Prize. It is based on the book by the same name by Isoko Mochizuki.