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Media and politics in regional Indonesia: the case of Manado

Hill, D.T. (2008) Media and politics in regional Indonesia: the case of Manado. In: Sen, K. and Lee, T., (eds.) Political Regimes and the Media in Asia. Routledge, London, England, pp. 188-207.


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 increasing diversity of the nation's media. This chapter is an initial attempt to examine these changes at the local level in the perimeter province of North Sulawesi, about 2,000 kilometers from the political epicenter of Jakarta. It explores the impact of a raft of central government policies, collectively dubbed "de-centralization" or "regional autonomy," in North Sulawesi and its capital, Manado. 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 is being 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 is 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: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright: Routledge
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