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Day without television

Indonesians act on their concerns about the new tele-visual environment

Edwin Jurriens

    A peaceful demonstration rounds the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in
   celebration of the Day Without Television
   Yayasan Pengembangan Media Anak

‘The Day Without TV’ is not anti-TV exclaims a flyer promoting Indonesia’s fifth annual day without television, which took place this year on 25 July 2010. In the event, which consists of press conferences and several days of peaceful demonstrations, seminars and children’s activities in various cities, Indonesian children and their families are urged to abstain from watching television for a whole day. This is meant to encourage them to reflect on and possibly change – their television watching habits.

Media expansion

Since its inception in 2006, the Day Without TV has been organised by the Foundation for the Development of Children’s Media (YPMA), one of the most active organisations in promoting media literacy in Indonesia. Bobby Guntarto, co-founder of YPMA and initiator of the event, explains that its purpose is encourage the public to think about what kind of television watching is in children’s best interests. What kinds of programs help kids to develop and expand their horizons?

Guntarto’s interest in media literacy must be understood in a context in which Indonesian print and electronic media have both vastly expanded. In the period since the fall of the New Order in 1998, commercial television with a national reach has expanded from 5

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