In recent years, Rotten Tomatoes has become an invaluable tool for modern moviegoers to decide whether or not to spend their hard-earned money on a ticket for the latest blockbuster. There are plenty of people (including filmmakers) who bemoan the monolithic nature of the site, but it is impossible to deny its influence. To that end, the editorial team behind the site announced in a post on Tuesday that it’s aware of the criticism it has received, and is changing the way it evaluates the critics it features to represent a more diverse selection of voices.
As the team explains, when Rotten Tomatoes launched 20 years ago, there was no iPhone, there was no such thing as YouTube, and Siskel and Ebert were still two of the biggest names in movie criticism. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why Rotten Tomatoes initially chose to focus on major publications and well-known broadcasters when deciding which reviews to aggregate. But we live in a different world now, and RT is ready to reflect that.
“In the intervening decades, a lot has changed,” the Rotten Tomatoes team admits. “By some estimates, the total daily circulation of newspapers in America has fallen by half, and the size of the newspaper workforce has been reduced by more than a third with the subsequent drop in revenue; broadcast TV and radio stations have faced similar challenges with the rise of cable, online news, streaming, podcasts, and YouTube.”
In order to catch up with the rest of the internet, Rotten Tomatoes announced a new set of criteria it will use to determine who can be a Tomatometer-eligible critic moving forward. The values it will look for when choosing new critics include Insight, Audience, Quality, and Dedication, which you can read about here.
Using its new eligibility requirements, Rotten Tomatoes approved 200 new critics this week, with hundreds more expected to be added throughout the rest of the year. Plus, you can get to know some of those critics on the Critic Spotlight section of the critics page, which the site will update regularly.