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Manoeuvres in Manado: Media and politics in regional Indonesia

Hill, D.T. (2007) Manoeuvres in Manado: Media and politics in regional Indonesia. South East Asia Research, 15 (1). pp. 5-28.

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One of the most visible changes to Indonesian public culture since the fall of President Suharto and his New Order in May 1998 has been the florescence of the nation's media. This article is an initial attempt to examine these changes at the local level in the perimeter province of North Sulawesi, about 2,000 kilometres from the political epicentre of Jakarta. Prior to 1998, with only rare exceptions, studies of the Indonesian media - by both Indonesian and foreign scholars - concentrated on the national media. However, since the post-Suharto deregulation of the media and the dismantling of the repressive Department of Information, which had controlled the media centrally, the most dramatic transformation has been driven not from Jakarta but from local media enterprises. At its broadest, this current study of media in North Sulawesi questions whether the collapse of an authoritarian regime and abandonment of media controls axiomatically produce a pluralist democratic media; or whether, equally as likely, they involve the capture of the media by particular political interests, for whom media influence - if not control - is a valuable asset in influencing public opinion and electoral outcomes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: IP Publishing Ltd
Copyright: © 2007 IP Publishing Ltd
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