Reterritorialization in the Micromediascape: Indonesian Regional Television amid the Rise of Normative Media-Islam

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Visual Anthropology Review


Sociology & Anthropology


In Indonesia, national broadcasting in the 21st century has been characterized by increasing Muslim normativity across the spectrum of commercial programming, along with sectarian clashes that have further marginalized religious minorities. This article investigates the case of a small, regional television station in one of the country's Christian-majority provinces to explore the ways that such minorities have exploited a relaxation of broadcast regulations to form distinctive and insular micromediascapes within the larger field of Indonesian media culture. I suggest the need for a more graduated articulation of Arjun Appadurai's “mediascape” concept that foregrounds the import of local, small-scale production and broadcasting, particularly to marginalized groups. Based on an ethnographic study in Manado, North Sulawesi, I argue that local TV has risen to the foreground of the province's public culture in a manner that mobilizes its religious, ethnic, and historical identity narratives to reterritorialize audiences and reify the region's distinction from the state.