The Jakarta Post , JAKARTA | Wed, 06/24/2009 11:03 AM | National
Research into the nation’s television viewing habits has revealed most people regard news and talk show programs to be the best in terms of education, but the majority still prefer to watch soap operas and reality shows.
“Our research shows that viewers regard news and talk shows to be the best television programs to watch,” the Science, Aesthetics and Technology Foundation Deputy Director, Agus Sudibyo, told a seminar at Tarumanegara University in Grogol, West Jakarta, on Tuesday.
“However, our research also shows that the same people still prefer to watch soap operas and reality shows, which they themselves say are low quality,” he added.
The results were drawn from a survey of 220 respondents across 11 major cities, including Medan, Palembang, Bandung and Jakarta. Around 90 percent of those who took part in the research, conducted between April 7 and April 13, were university graduates.
The respondents claimed the top five television programs were Metro TV’s Kick Andy talk show, TV One’s Apa Kabar Indonesia Malam talk show, SCTV’s Liputan 6 Petang daily news program, RCTI’s Seputar Indonesia news program and Trans TV’s Bocah Petualang children’s education program.
However, the same respondents said the five programs they watched the most were SCTV’s Cinta Fitri teen soap opera, RCTI’s Dewi soap opera and three reality shows from Trans TV — Termehek-mehek, Me VS Mom and Jika Aku Menjadi.
“The respondents said soap operas completely lacked when it came to encouraging social empathy, exemplifying good behavior or being suitable for children,” Agus said.
Around one-fifth of respondents believed the popular soap operas, such as Cinta Fitri, were quality programs.
“It was also ironic to discover that the state education institution, the National Education Ministry, prefers to run its advertisements about education during soap operas programs. I think the ministry needs to really consider when to run its commercials and not base its decision just on popularity but on substance as well,” Agus said.
RCTI’s editor-in-chief, Arief Suditomo, told the seminar the national television industry needed to fully commit to strengthening its role as a public education service by moving away from airing poor-quality shows.
“I admit that ratings are important for the industry. But we must also commit to advocating better education programming for the public.” (hdt)