Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc. announcer Koji Iida: “What We Can Do Because We Are Radio News”
The top runner in the radio world who is the main personality of a live weekday morning band program appears on the show. What is the secret to creating a beloved program?
There is no media more suited to the busy lifestyles of modern people than radio. It doesn’t take the listener’s eyes off the radio, and it doesn’t stop the listener’s hands. You can listen to it while doing something. From the standpoint of a news programmer such as myself, radio, unlike television, is not limited by images and can devote solid time to each piece of news as needed. It is a great advantage to be able to provide background and rationale in a multilayered manner, rather than merely transmitting information and opinions.
This is the opinion of Nippon Broadcasting System announcer Koji Iida (40). He is currently the main personality of “Koji Iida’s OK! Cozy up!”, a two-hour live broadcast on weekday mornings from 6:00 a.m., and is also a regular contributor to “Evening Fuji” and the author of a book published by “Shincho Shinsho”, making him a top radio personality whose activities are not limited to the station. This year marks Iida’s 19th year with the station, and we asked him what he has experienced in the field of radio news.
In the “FRIDAY Subscription” (paid site), announcer Koji Iida looks back on his roots in a special interview and special photo shoot!
Don’t be silly!” I was yelled at by other stations for covering the election.
I wanted to be a sports play-by-play announcer since I was a student. That’s why I never imagined that I would have a news program like I do now.
As a rookie, Iida was mainly in charge of variety programs. During that time, however, she also jumped into the news reporting field as a “volunteer.
When they needed people for an election special or something like that, he would go to the scene and say, ‘You’re free, so go! I went there like that. But I didn’t know the customs and regulations, so I made a lot of mistakes.
I will never forget the 2005 postal dissolution and general election. I was in Gifu, working in Seiko Noda’s office. I was drawing lots to determine the order of interviews, and all the TV networks were drawing lots, so I thought, “Well, we’ll draw lots, too,” but I was told, “Only TV! I thought, ‘Well, we’re only on TV! You’re making us start over! You’ve made us redo it! You’re making us redo the whole thing!
Another time, I stepped on some station’s audio cord during an interview, and he said, “You can’t pick up the sound, you idiot! I was in my second year or something. I was in my second year or something. It was a mess.
It was in 2012, his eighth year with the company, that he began working on news programs in earnest. It was 2012, his eighth year with the company, when he took on the anchorman role for the evening news program “The Voice: Is It All Right to Say That? He was still in a “rookie” position and was still groping his way through the day-to-day operations.
Of course there were senior news reporters, but they were all naturally busy. They didn’t give hand-holding to someone who just came in from a variety show. Rather, they would first ask, ‘What are you doing here? They were like, “What are you doing here? We didn’t even have press credentials at first. It was a frantic, desperate life.
As she groped in the dark, Iida says the words of a program producer were the starting point for her career.
He told me, ‘Anyway, your job is to listen. You don’t have to interject your own opinion, but just ask questions to the interviewer or commentator. I was told that I didn’t have to interject my own opinion, but that I should just ask the interviewer or commentator, “What do you think?
When I thought about what I could do, I realized that the only way was to go out into the field. I had to go out into the field, listen to what people had to say, and then tell them about it. I became more determined and started going to the field more frequently.
Although I was still not a strong believer in tradition, my position as a member of the “Yuugun,” or a transitional unit that belonged to no one, may have contributed to my light footwork that allowed me to show up anywhere on my own, unbound by any restrictions.
At the time, it was the end of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration. It was a time when everyone was in a meeting day after day, night after night, and everyone was in a fight. The more I went, the more I could get some kind of story.
Learning from listeners every day
Iida’s thoroughgoing “on-the-spot” approach has helped him to build a track record of success. She began to be appointed as an anchor not only for evening programs but also for election specials.
In April 2018, at the age of 36, she began the aforementioned morning live broadcast of “Koji Iida’s OK!
It’s been five years since the program started. Looking back, it is difficult to say what my strengths are that have allowed me to make it this far. I have been working so selflessly that I don’t even feel like I have anything at hand. However, I am not the type of person who wants to be in the forefront, so maybe that is why I am suited to be an MC.
Although Iida admits to being modest, there is one thing she is clearly aware of when creating a program.
I don’t want to create a dichotomy,” she says. It is simple and easy to understand to tell people that one is good and one is bad, but in reality, I often feel that it is not that simple. For example, when discussing the topic of the new coronavirus, it is like asking, “Which should we choose, medicine or economics?
At such times, listeners tell me a lot of things that are actually happening. Even during the live broadcast, I received more and more messages in real time. They would say things like, “What are you talking about, what’s happening on the ground? In the end, I learned a lot that opinions and rules that are formulated only at a desk don’t always work.
The voices of the listeners, the commentators who appear on the show, and the people we meet during our on-site interviews. She listens to a wide variety of opinions and conveys them with the warmth that only radio can offer. When we asked Iida, who has established a unique position as a radio announcer, about his future prospects, he was surprisingly and suddenly unsure of himself.
I’m seriously worried about it,” he said. Being in charge of a morning show is a great accomplishment for a radio announcer, but I sometimes wonder what I should do next. But I want to keep going to the field and speaking there. I guess I have to watch all kinds of people and pick up on the good parts.
I don’t really pay attention to other people or compare myself with them, but I think that (TBS) announcer Shinichiro Azumi is amazing. He hosts a TV program in the morning and has a radio show on Sundays. And for that radio show, he stayed over the day before to read postcards, which I could never do.
（People like Jiro Shimbo (with whom I co-host), who gives brilliant commentary, and people like Tomoaki Ogura (with whom I used to co-host), who knows a lot about various genres, are also great. To be honest, I am sometimes overwhelmed when I look at the people around me. As long as I am doing my job with my face and name out there, I think I have to be more greedy and move forward.
Just as radio has successfully merged with the Internet and is showing a wide variety of developments, top radio announcers are sure to show us new activities in the future.
Born on December 5, 1981 in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Born in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
After graduating from Yokohama National University, Faculty of Business Administration, Department of International Management, he joined Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc. in 2004.
He is in charge of “Koji Iida’s OK! Cozy up!” (weekday mornings from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m., live) and “Jiro Shimbo Zoom, Kakkai Kadokatta! (Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.).
He is a Hanshin Tigers fan and enjoys watching baseball games, horse racing, and reading.
He is the author of “Is ‘Anti-Power’ Justice?
Official blog: “Ida Kouji: You say that much?
On “FRIDAY Subscription” (paid site), announcer Koji Iida looks back on his roots in a special interview and special photo shoots!
Photographed by： Katsuhiko Hanamura