Politics and the Media in Twenty-First Century Indonesia: Decade of Democracy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Politics and the Media in Twenty-First Century Indonesia

Decade of Democracy, 1st Edition

Edited by Krishna Sen, David Hill


210 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Every political aspirant and activist knows the media are important. But there is little agreement on how an increasingly diversified media operate in post-authoritarian transitions and how they might promote, or impede, the pathways to a sustainable liberal democracy in the 21st century. This book examines the role of the media during Indonesia’s longest experiment with democratisation. It addresses two important and related questions: how is the media being transformed, both in terms of its structure and content, by the changing political economy of Indonesia after the fall of Suharto? And what is the potential impact of this media in enabling or hampering the development of democracy in Indonesia?

The book explores the relation between the working of democratisation, by examining the role of ethnic identity and nationalism; increasingly cheaper and diversified means of media production, challenging state monopolies of the media; the reality of personalised and globalised media; and the challenging of the connection between a free media and democracy by global capitalism and corporate control of the media. The book argues that the dominant forces transforming Indonesia today did not arise from the singular point of Suharto’s resignation, but from a set of factors which are independent from, but linked to, Indonesia’s internal politics and which shape its cultural industries.


“This collection of essay provides a broad overview of the ever-changing media landscape in Indonesia, not just in Jakarta but all over the country. With the increasing reach of the media in this country, the question of whether the media is empowering or manipulating people is more important than ever before. This book is a good place to find some answers.” - Ismira Lutfia, “Is Media Helping or Hurting Push for Democracy?”, Jakarta Globe, May 09, 2011

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements The Contributors Introduction: Re-forming Media in Indonesia’s Transition to Democracy – Krishna Sen 1. Reorganisation of Media Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia: Ownership, Power and Influence of Local Media Entrepreneurs - Rachma Ida 2. On the Border: Local Media in the Land of Papua - David T. Hill 3. Community radio and the empowerment of local culture in Indonesia - Mario Antonius Birowo 4. Riding Waves of Change: Islamic Press in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia - Budi Irawanto 5. Indonesian Journalism Post-Suharto: Changing Ideals and Professional Practices - Janet Steele 6. Ownership and its Impact on Journalists and their practices - Ignatius Haryanto 7. The Transformation of the Media Scene: From War to Peace in the Moluccas, Eastern Indonesia - Birgit Bräuchler 8. "Radio Active": The Creation of Media-Literate Audiences in Post-Suharto Indonesia - Edwin Jurriëns 9. The Construction of Women in Contemporary Indonesian Women’s Cinema - Hapsari Dwiningtyas Sulistyani 10. Media and morality: Pornography post Suharto - Jennifer Lindsay

About the Editors

Krishna Sen is Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia, Perth and Fellow of The Australian Academy of the Humanities. Her most recent publications include (as co-editor) Political Regimes and the Media in Asia and (co-authored with David T. Hill) The Internet in Indonesia's New Democracy (both published by Routledge).

David T. Hill is Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Fellow of the Asia Research Centre on Social, Political and Economic Change at Murdoch University, Western Australia. His publications include The Press in New Order Indonesia, Journalism and Politics in Indonesia: A Critical Biography of Mochtar Lubis (1922-2004) as Editor and Author and (co-authored with Krishna Sen) Media, Culture and Politics in Indonesia.

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at [email protected]

Editorial Board:

Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
Michael Keane, Curtin University
Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong
Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales

Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
Ming-yeh Rawnsley, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University
Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
Jing Wang, MIT
Ying Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University



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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies