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Rotten Tomatoes is changing what it looks for in movie critics

It’s making it easier for independent critics to join the platform.
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Corbis via Getty Images

Rotten Tomatoes has overhauled its criteria for which critics and outlets get to contribute to its Tomatometer scores, opening the platform up to more voices and points of view. The company said that when it got started, it largely included critics from major publications and broadcasters with a large audience reach, which fit with the media landscape at the time. "In the intervening decades, a lot has changed," said the company, noting that staff positions at major outlets have dwindled and many critics are producing good work elsewhere, through smaller online outlets, podcasts and YouTube, for example.

"In revamping our critics criteria, we sought to bring the criteria into better alignment with the way media works today, to promote the inclusion of more voices that reflect the varied groups of people who consume entertainment and to maintain the high standards we've always set for inclusion in the group of Tomatometer-approved critics," said the company. Its new criteria focus on insight, audience, quality and dedication and its updated eligibility guidelines include stipulations for self-published writers and freelancers, vloggers and podcasters. Rotten Tomatoes adds that while a large audience reach is still a requirement in most cases, those with smaller audiences that serve underrepresented groups will be considered as well.

The company's lack of diversity when it comes to its pool of critics was pointed out by researchers earlier this year. Rotten Tomatoes says that it has already approved 200 additional critics under these new standards and will add hundreds more throughout the year.

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