Crowdrating: Empowering citizens, improving content

In search of Indonesian model of alternative TV rating

Research period: January-December 2017

There is a growing consensus that the current TV industry produces poor quality content, as most TV stations refer to rating in order to produce their content. Due to the logic of ratings, the highest-rated programmes will be reproduced over and over again, resulting in content duplication. The current rating mechanism consists of survey collecting individual attributes and traffic counting audience (Webster, 2001) which can be misinterpreted to justify popular shows as “good” shows, or that the number of samples for the rating calculation represents all citizens -creating a sense that the popular show is in-line with citizen’s taste (Webster & Phalen, 1997). Such mechanism has hindered citizens to exercise their rights, since their ability to shape television content has been reduced to the number of their presence under the rating radar.

Remotivi, one of media watchdogs, responded by launching Rapotivi -a reporting tool that enables audience to submit their complaints about unsatisfactory quality of television content. Launched in February 2015, Rapotivi has been used by 3,000 active users across Indonesia and has received 1,447 complaints (as of January 2017). In the long run, this model could be used to encourage citizens to be more critical towards television content, while helping and/or re-strengthening Indonesia Broadcasting Commission on their monitoring function.

Employing a mixed methodological design, this 12-month research aims to capture the workings of Rapotivi and to conceptualise a new model of audience measurement that promotes a more open and participatory approaches, as well as provides a more comprehensive rating mechanism.

This study is funded by Ford Foundation. Klara Esti, Natasha H. Attamimi, and Leonardus K. Nugraha are working on this research under the guidance of Yanuar Nugroho who acts as the principal investigator.

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