Television Influence

Dec 13th, 2007, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

The role and responsibility of Indonesian television media.

Influence of Television

We know what impact the Media has on their clients.

In this respect I wish to write particularly about the Indonesian television media.

Sight, sound and colour are such powerful ingredients. So powerful that it gains hold surreptitiously for an undiscerning spectator. For those who are discerning, eventually they too become victims by whatever is repeatedly pushed at their faces.

Low Quality TV

I find in most cases, Indonesian televised programs pander to the gutter level content rather than be what it ought to be - a veritable tool that has the ability to educate, to uplift and to improve the mindset of the populace.

The kind of fare that would make me sit up and watch Indonesian TV does not even go beyond a full count of five fingers. Besides, it has nothing to do with Bahasa Indonesia because I consider that I am competent with Bahasa Indonesia. There is the News brief, the occasional kungfu movie that I missed watching, Indonesian Idol, an old Indonesian comedy, hmmmm that's about it.

Having said that, I am not being radical. Of course there is the need to relax and to be entertained and of course there will always be a need to have entertainment shows.

Understandably, there are cultural issues that are inherent with every nation. I am not saying that Indonesia has to be pretentious and televise shows that Indonesians would not be able to understand. Language and native nuances have its purpose and function since it would be appreciated by natives of the land.

Neither is it the language nor the indigenous aspects that I am referring to.

Compared to 1976 when I first visited Indonesia, there have been changes. Change is integral with time; for better I hope. With regard to change, quality is far more important than the quantity that is being televised.

One could understand when there are program reruns. It is either due to a lack of innovation or due to a scarcity of new programs or due to a lack of funds. I would pick the first reason because it can be seen from the quality of programs being televised.

Indonesians would gain from informative documentaries concerning health care, childcare, safety, good etiquette, D.I.Y's, et cetera instead of trash talk shows, slap stick comedies and the must-have transvestite character in their local productions.

Gossip shows, celebrity scandals and daily crime reports do not have a positive impact. Instead, by providing information that deal with self-development skills, productivity skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, showcase of successful Indonesians, cottage industry and so on, these would definitely improve the mindset in Indonesia. It would be a boon for the nation too.

Human Value & Knowledge

The natural resources of Indonesia are being plundered and wasted. One of several reasons being because Indonesian human resources take a backseat. There seems to be little effort or no attention given to the overwhelming potential of human resources in Indonesia. The television in Indonesia could fill that vacuum provided it is done in the way TV should be managed.

Perhaps it is an inherent prerequisite for the rich and powerful who own the television networks that the poor and the ignorant must continue to exist or else the former would be none for the better. All that it needs is to drive them into a mental stupor with graphic opium, in one word it is called trash.

What the archipelago has to offer in the way of knowledge is immense. Its cuisine, dance, clothing, marriage, way of life and livelihood, the locale's history, folklore, cultural rites and rituals, the richness of their land and seas, the heritage of fauna and flora, modern science discoveries, et cetera; something that most Indonesian children, let alone Indonesian adults, are ignorant about.

That is only talking about what Indonesia possesses and the possibilities to improve with the power of the television media. Knowledge from the rest of the world has not yet been considered here.


20 Comments on “Television Influence”

  1. avatar Masindi says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    “Bahasa Indonesia” ? You can just say “Indonesian”

  2. avatar iamisaid says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    LOL….. Masindi, and what’s wrong in saying Bahasa Indonesia?

  3. avatar Dragonwall says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Indonesian language teacher, my friend.

  4. avatar Hedi says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 12:26 am

    You should forgive the situation….Indonesia has been still in the move, its culture, growth, and others even not in positive mood at the moment :D

  5. avatar Anita McKay says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 2:01 am

    I don’t mind gossip shows, ghost stories, or daily crime news, it’s just all TV stations show the same things, they just practically change the title, lay-out, and presenters. Sometimes one tiny gossip can be made into 30 minutes slot. Nothing is original and fresh. Nothing is controversial. Nobody seems brave enough to break the routine.

  6. avatar iamisaid says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 2:13 am

    Hello Hedi,

    You said : “You should forgive the situation”¦.Indonesia has been still in the move, its culture, growth, and others even not in positive mood at the moment ”

    me : Indonesia has been moving since Independence but alas! not in the direction that brings progress and prospertiy. I cannot fault with the Indonesian culture. Indonesian culture (taken in its right meaning) is so varied and colorful.

    Why forgive the situation? That’s as good as compromising or worse, surrendering. The typical “minta maaf” syndrome has not made Indonesia any better.

    It is the Indonesian mindset that needs to improve and to strive for excellence.

  7. avatar pj_bali says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 2:24 am

    Actually I just sponsored a TV program for kids called Teropong Sains. The crew finished filming a months ago and are now in the editing stage. We might even get paid. Sorry no sexy presenters, ghosts, kung fu or obligatory tranvestites. Just a show with some kids doing simple science experiments. Hopefully it will be shown sometime next year.
    cheers
    pj

  8. avatar iamisaid says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 2:42 am

    WOW pj_bali ! that is wonderful. I wish you success and hope that your efforts will not be in vain.

    Wayyyy to go! Congratulations. Indonesians needs more of this kind of value added shows.

  9. avatar Mr. TicTacToe says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 7:08 am

    I stopped watching indonesian TV ages ago.
    Even a short-venture watching metroTV made me histerically-laugh in disbelief several weeks ago, around the time when “konvensi golkar” was hot topic.

    In this capitalistic big-corporate-ruled republic, good contents usually equal to no sponsors.

    I kinda missed the time when watching kelompencapir was the only option on 19.30 :)

    we need drastic measures. Maybe Pak A.Sudarsono has a brilliant idea?

  10. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    December 15th, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Excellent article.

    Last time Condoleezza Rice was here she promised that an Indonesian version of the children’s program Sesame Street would be produced as a state present.
    Has anybody any news about it?
    Hopefully it hasn’t been rebutted for fear of christianization or westernization.

  11. avatar iamisaid says:
    December 15th, 2007 at 2:15 am

    Thank you dewaratugedeanom. There are times I am hesitant to submit my thoughts on issues such as this.

    I have no spite whatsoever towards people when putting my thoughts down on paper.

    In the case of Indonesia, it has been an inexplicable “romance” as it were for 7 years to date with hopefully more cheery ones in the future. I love every visit that I make to Indonesia regardless of a few misadventures.

  12. avatar Mr. TicTacToe says:
    December 15th, 2007 at 2:44 am

    @dewaratugedeanom:
    about sesame street, i think its in production with the title “jalan sesama” (?), if im not mistaken.
    The production was outsourced to several animators in jogjakarta, i happen to meet one of them the last time i went there.

    I dont think there will be “christianization” issue on that, since one of gus dur’s daughter was involved (she has a children centre called tumble tots in jogja). But then, i could be wrong.

    the airing date will be sometime in 2008, i suppose.

  13. avatar nenek sihir says:
    December 15th, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Is Kerajaan/Republik Mimpi still on air? Brilliant show IMO! Always liked the quirky Sampoerna A-Mild ads too, even if they were advertising nicotine…

  14. avatar San-San says:
    December 16th, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Mr. TicTacToe Says:
    I dont think there will be “christianization” issue on that,…

    why do people still like to use religion issues to generate a prejudice as such??? I stick to the motto “dont believe in TV and other media products”, but it is really a nuisance when people aim to use religion issues to spread hatred. As I recently found an intensive campaign to switch off TV due to the film My Hope Indonesia and its hidden message of christianization. As if watching tv program/film related to a certain religion can directly affect audience to change their religion belief. It’s not only a sort of oversimplification, but also generating prejudice and hatred. Do the principles of multiculturalism remain as theoretical constructs in this country??

  15. avatar Ade Wanto says:
    December 16th, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Hello iamisaid,

    You are really good and bright man. For me, this is interesting topics to discuss rather than hatred people by their religion. As a person, we are unique. So we must live by respect differences. IM suppose to be a medium for multiculturalism awareness then mock other people believe. I think you agree with it, don’t you.

    Perhaps it is an inherent prerequisite for the rich and powerful who own the television networks that the poor and the ignorant must continue to exist or else the former would be none for the better. All that it needs is to drive them into a mental stupor with graphic opium, in one word it is called trash.

    That is only talking about what Indonesia possesses and the possibilities to improve with the power of the television media. Knowledge from the rest of the world has not yet been considered here.

    Yes, I really do agree with you for the causa prima for very low quality tv broadcast in Indonesia. It is because the owner. Remember they also have other media such newspaper/magazine, radio network even they enter internet business. Indonesia media owners -and operators- do not have any goal to reach except advertising money (of course they’ve already gain in political influence otherwise they can get permit).

    So rating is everything even act as god which define everything. As a tv plays and movie scenario writer, I really hope somehow Indonesia tv broadcast will change. Rating is not everything. We still do have brain and heart. TV especially family-home tv -like in USA and Europe- suppose to be a medium to make people clever. I do agree to San San, tv broadcaster must has principles of multiculturalism. Therefore, do not use religion to generate prejudice.

    Unfortunately, all the tv owner are heavy political connected to the power. Sometime they use their tv to get advantage from unfinished “multiculturalism constructs” business in Indonesia grand design. So, don’t forget, generating prejudice and hatred in Indonesian society are their business too. You can easily see that when you watch all tv news.

    Even Indonesia has already in reform but there are rich peoples that get their wealthy from the past and still exist (economically and politically). They admit this reform is only a way not a goal. Then they use a way in Indonesia democrazy to get more richer. And, about 37 million poor people? Who’s care for them? He just smile, ” I’ve already got write off 11 trillion rupiah in debt actually now my account as numero uno by Forbes, 50 trillion rupiah.” Whoops.

  16. avatar iamisaid says:
    December 16th, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Welcome ade wanto,

    You said: “You are really good and bright man.”

    me: I have to get my wife to read that. I would like you to convince her. LOL.

    You said: “Unfortunately, all the tv owner are heavy political connected to the power. Sometime they use their tv to get advantage from unfinished “multiculturalism constructs” business in Indonesia grand design. So, don’t forget, generating prejudice and hatred in Indonesian society are their business too. You can easily see that when you watch all tv news.”

    me: There was a time when the man who could kill a bear with his bare hands was the man with the power.
    Then, it was the man who could kill a bear with a weapon in his hands that was the man with the power.
    Now, it is the man who kills a bear without giving the bear any food that has the power.

    About time the poor bear teaches man a lesson !

    And thanks ade, for sharing your views.

  17. avatar Paijo says:
    January 16th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    In my point of view, the problem faced by indonesia television is that many programs don’t think whether it is quality or not, their objective is only a business.

  18. avatar Agus says:
    April 11th, 2008 at 8:55 am

    What’s wrong with you Masindi???

  19. avatar Miss.89 says:
    October 3rd, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    There are some programs that actually promote the traditional values of Indonesia, it is worrying that the number of the potential viewers are decreasing. This kind of show does not receive a warm welcome from the viewers anymore because those people are more interested to entertainment based television shows : soap opera-Sinetron, reality show or sitcom.
    The problem in this country is that the elitists (TV stations owners) forget their duties to educate,inform and entertain the viewers. It is all about the business, commercialization on everything they broadcast.
    The viewers demand more entertainment than educative. Do you think the viewers would like to watch more educative television shows? The answer is NO. According to Nielsen research, people who watch Sinetron are women (30+ years old) from lower class. Indonesia is not a developed country, this make all the TV shows still exist and sadly gain more profit.
    The root of this problem is education of the country that can be considered lower than other Asian countries. This low factor numb the interest of quality television shows. Most viewers would prefer BUSER or SERGAP rather than CSI or The X-Files.

    Think.

  20. avatar Nanari says:
    June 24th, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Dear Sirs/Madam,

    I’m not too sure am I going to the right page? I’m actually looking for someone that I can contact with from the Indonesia News & TV Media department.
    There’s a big issue concern the Indonesian public health due to some immitation vitamin & medicine produced by a group of criminals & is selling very hot in whole of Indonesia pharmacy’s & retail started since year 2002. If I can get in touch with the news or TV media, I want to exposed about their crime & this group of criminals! I hope someone can help to link me to the right person. Hope to hear from you soon! Thank u!

    Best regards
    Nanari



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