Predawn comedy shows have racked up the most complaints to the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission during Ramadan for their portrayal of community groups and minorities.
“The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission [KPI] has issued warnings to six Ramadan predawn shows and one music show,” KPI commissioner Nina Mutmainnah said in Jakarta on Monday.
Nina said there were four main violations typically committed by the shows. The first involves insulting the physical condition, sexual orientation or gender identity of people or community groups.
Second are violations of children’s protections. This typically involves shows that are aired during prime-time hours – when young viewers are more likely – ignoring content guidelines that have been put in place to protect children.
Violations of norms of politeness and decency make up the third category, with more reported violations of politeness than of decency. And rounding out the list were violations in which shows were not properly categorised.
So far only one TV station has responded to the KPI’s warnings, Nina said, but it has yet to make any significant changes to its programming. She said TV shows, aired during and outside of the month of Ramadan, should be in line with and refer to the Broadcasting Law.
“The KPI calls on all TV stations to continue to improve their programmes in line with the spirit of Ramadan and to comply with the 2012 guidelines on broadcasting norms and programme standards,” she said.
Communication and Information minister Tifatul Sembiring lamented the KPI’s lack of authority and inability to effectively sanction TV stations.
“We will draft a memorandum of understanding between the Communication and Information Ministry, the KPI and the Indonesian Council of Ulema [MUI], so the KPI’s recommendations will have an effect on TV stations’ broadcasting permits,” Tifatul said in Jakarta on Monday. He announced the plan after receiving reports from the KPI and the MUI on violations by TV stations despite repeated warnings from the KPI.
Tifatul suggested that the KPI and TV stations sit down together to reach a common understanding, emphasising that TV programmes should not only be entertaining but also educational. “The producers are also human,” he said. “So, I prefer to educate them so their mind-sets is not merely about meeting a material target; they should also think about the impact of shows on people.”