For the five month period from November 2009 to March 2010 I was a monitor for Japan International Broadcasting Inc or JibTV. Not long after discovering JibTV I made an overview post about the service entitled – Online TV from Japan in English – JibTV in which I described what the service is and even made mention of the super cute mascot. There was a call for program monitors who would act as a kind of reviewer of sorts for some of the major programs being aired and since I spent so much time watching and enjoying JibTV I decided to sign up and was accepted after jumping through a few legal hoops.
How being a JibTV Monitor works
As a program monitor I was emailed once a month with a list of 2-4 programs I was expected to “monitor” throughout the upcoming month as well as a form I would fill out which would accompany each program that I would email back to JibTV with my comments and opinions on the program by a particular deadline. This feedback would help them to improve their programing and the monitor would be compensated for their time in the form of Amazon gift cards redeemable at the localized online store of your choice in Europe, America or Canada – it goes without saying that I selected the America store.
The biggest hurdle during my time as a monitor was my timezone. Although the timezone used in the forms were set to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) the times the programs I was supposed to review were always in the middle of the night in Jamaica. So I usually had to try and catch the program just before going to bed (which would still be the previous day Jamaica time) or during my lunch hour at work the following day. I did overcome this hurdle sometimes but it was a challenge and I only managed to monitor about half the programs I was assigned on time although I eventually watched them when they were repeated.
Educational and Informative
Whether I managed to tame the timezone beast and send in my report on time or not I was almost always enjoying watching some very informative and eye opening programs about Japan and as a Japan enthusiast I learned so much I wouldn’t have otherwise on topics including the Ainu, Japanese cuisine, history, business, culture, travel, tourism, language, technology and more which I would usually tweet about while watching. The added benefit of being a monitor is all the Amazon gift certificates I received which allowed me to get an awesome mic to help with the All Hail Japan podcast and I have a few of them saved up to grab a few video games like Monster Hunter Tri and Metroid Other M so that funds are not diverted from Operation Visit Japan while allowing me to get my game on – which reminds me that I have yet to acquire and play Final Fantasy 13 as many of my friends are still hogging their copies -_-.
Want to be a JibTV monitor?
JibTV is blocked to viewers in Japan but as long as you are outside Japan, no matter which location, country or timezone, if you are interested in being a monitor you should keep checking the official JibTV blog and tune into JibTV online and keep and eye out for any information on when new monitors will be accepted.