Saturday, December 12, 2009

Television Programs in Indonesia

According to wikipedia, mass media is a term used to denote, as a class, that section of the media specifically conceived and designed to reach a very large audience such as the population of a nation state. So some examples of mass media are televisions, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines.

After approximately three years studying in this neighboring country, I don’t really follow the news through the provided media (read: mass media in Singapore); I really rarely watch television or reading newspapers. I guess it’s due to the fact that I’m not really interested in economics or politics growth in Singapore.

However, when I was on my holiday in Bandung for almost one month, finally I read newspapers and watched television again. 

Yet I still feel rather disappointed because almost all TV stations offered similar programmes and those programmes can be categorized as "trash" (according to me, of course). Let’s go through it one by one.

  • infotainment: most of the materials presented are gossips, and what’s more annoying is that all the television stations broadcasted the same gossips again and again, from the death of Alda Rizma (you can google about this singer, but it’s most probable you will get results in Indonesian though), until the case of the porn video of a DPR (House of Representatives) member. Then what do we get from infotainment? Nearly all these celebrity gossips will be forgotten in one or two month’s time. And apparently there are many celebrities that intentionally made those warmth of chicken's shit gossips (read: overacting celebrities) to boost their popularity. Consequently the daily topic of conversations between housewives always revolves around these gossips.
  • games (actually I wanted to say quiz or similar things but I can’t categorize it): It is true that not all game shows broadcasted on television is bad. But personally I think that game shows can demoralize people because implicitly it gives a concept that it’s easy to get money, provided you’re lucky. Money now has been worshipped like a God, people are even willing to put disgusting things in their mouths. Even animals will fight back if they’re forced to eat something that’s not their food. On the contrary, humans gladly eat those things for the sake of money. Where’s human’s pride.
  • sinetron (electronic cinema/soap opera): it happened again that human’s demoralization becomes the “main menu” or the additional “spice”. Unfaithful wives, cruel stepmothers, husbands hitting wives, and many other scenes became daily watch. On the other side, luxury and beauty became the standard of happiness. It gives the impression that happiness can only be obtained by having a luxurious home complete with swimming pool, a rich plus handsome/pretty boyfriend/girlfriend, or a luxurious car complete with a personal chauffeur. The more embarrassing fact is that there are production houses which proudly stole ideas without stating the sources, then claiming that it’s their own work (read: plagiarism). One example is the soap opera Buku Harian Nayla (Nayla's diary) which allegedly is 90% the same as Japanese soap opera called 1 Litre of Tears or the other example is Siapa Takut Jatuh Cinta which allegedly was similar to Meteor Garden. Creativity begins to vanish when rating and popularity (and profit?) do the talking.
  • reality show: what I mean by reality show in this point is the shows like Uang Kaget (suddenly a production man gives some money to poor people and records their reactions), Bedah Rumah (a poor family's house is totally renovated and then they record the reactions), and similar shows. Often in shows like these, the poor people with all their suffering becomes public watch in which the person helped cried when given the money (read: the more the tears, the more the audience become touched, the higher the rating). It’s true that shows like these could move people to see the real condition in the community, but is it ethical that people’s poverty is publicly exposed? If one wants to help, isn’t it better to help without being known by the community.
  • criminal news: all criminal news become the main menu in this type of show. The standard themes served are people who kill their friends because they’re offended, grandchildren who kill their grandmothers for the sake of money, robbery, rape, and blitzkrieg to the red district area. Implicitly it suggests that criminal is just an ordinary thing. It’s like “oh well, everybody does that. So?”.
  • mystic shows, dangdut (a genre of Indonesian popular music) shows, etc: I guess it’s clear enough and no need to elaborate more. You all can judge by yourself whether shows like these are qualified to get any awards or just a pile of trash?

written by: imambenjol

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