NeoLiberalism 101

media economics, political-economy of media, critical theories

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Abstracts of Selected Articles

 Effendi Gazali, Dedy Nur Hidayat, and Victor Menayang, ” Political Communication in Indonesia: Media Performance in Three Eras.” In Willnat, Lars, and Arnett Willnat (eds). Political Communication Research in Asia. Chapter XX. New York: Routledge. Forthcoming, November 2008 st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }
The politics of communication which is enforced and practiced by a ruling regime determines the nature of political communication, and subsequently shape the scope or the characteristics of political communication research in the country. This chapter examines political communication research in Indonesia during three political periods: the Soeharto’s authoritarian regime (1984 to April 1998), the downfall of the authoritarian regime in “May Revolution 1998” , and the post-authoritarian regimes or the Reform Era (1998 to the present).

International Journal  of Communications for Uni European Communities

Javnost – the public – Forthcoming Vol. 15 (2008), No. 3; pp. 5-20.


ED HOLLANDER – Radboud University Nijmegen, DEDY NUR HIDAYAT – Universitas Indonesia, LEEN D’HAENENS – Catholic University of Leuven


This paper discusses the ways in which eff orts aimed at democratising the media system and empowering communities in Indonesia in three discursive periods (the 1998 “Revolution Movement,” the “Reform Era” follow-up, and the 2002 Broadcasting Act up till the present time) have ebbed and fl owed. The main result of the changing winds so far has been the liberalisation of the market, in line with global media trends. The Government has tried to frustrate the prospects of community media. Hence, the current development of community radio in the country remains stagnant, the main challenge being to create a more visible position in the media landscape, which in turn may bring about a more supportive stance in the government’spolicies. Our tour d’horizon of the state of aff airs of community radio, its complementary status to the mainstream national media scene, and the assessment of current needs are based upon empirical evidence gathered in the Manado and Jogyakarta areas. Departing from the diff erent dynamics of these two cases, weaknesses and critical success factors will be assessed, taking into account the diff erent backgrounds of the regions, radio practitioners as well as their audiences in terms of religion, ethnicity, and life styles.


‘DON’T WORRY, CLINTON IS MEGAWATI’S BROTHER’: The Mass Media, Rumours, Economic Structural Transformation and De-legitimization of Suharto’s New Order
Dedy N. Hidayat

This study explores the political significance of rumours – as public resistance to a repressive authoritarian communication structure – in the changing structure of the global economy,which is characterized by a high degree of capital mobility and an increasing separation of the entire financial sector from underlying, real economic activity. This study proposes that rumours – within a specific time period – may gain political significance in contributing to the delegitimization of a ruling regime. In Indonesia’s case, rumours played a part at a specific historical juncture of the development of global capitalism – into which Indonesia became integrated in the 1970s – where human agencies’ perceptions, fear, greed and sudden changes of heart are fundamental for capital mobility and the ruling regime’s structural stability or change.

Keywords / delegitimization / Indonesia / New Order / political power / subversive role of rumours

IIAS Seminar on Globalizing Media and Local Society in Indonesia. 13–14 September, 2002. Leiden University, the Netherlands

‘Media and the Pandora’s Box of Reformation’

Dedy N. Hidayat, and Sasa Djuarsa Sendjaja
Department of Communication, University of Indonesia.

If you open that Pandora’s Box, you never know what Trojan ‘orses will jump out” (Ernest Bevin, 1975).

The reform movement that ended Suharto’s 32 years of authoritarian rule has brought significant changes in Indonesia. It has liberated the market, the media, and the civil society from state repression. But in the Indonesian case, the triangle of free market, free media, and free civil society stand in a complex relationship to democracy. The newly liberated civil society becomes the home of undemocratic elements that are more than willing to open the “Pandora’s Box”, releasing various long-buried social conflicts that involve ethnic, racial, religious and class divisions. Combined with the increasing pressure of the liberalised market and the weakening power of the state, the deep rooted social conflicts pose a threat to the functioning of media as public sphere for peaceful and rational public discourse in a democracy. While some media intentionally aligned their editorial policy with particular groups in conflicts, some other media exploit the conflicts and violence as commodity. While some media get involve in a circuit of conflict accumulation, some other media become the target of violence attacks from ethnic and religious groups in the conflicts. Thus, the value of free media for maintaining a free, rational and peaceful public discourse in a democracy, and for cultivating beliefs and norms that support democracy, remains in question.

Keywords/ social conflict/ civil society/ media/ social conflicts

European Journal of Communications 28 (2003), 475492 03412059/2003/0280475 Walter de Gruyter.

Establishing a middle ground for public and community broadcasting in Indonesia: An action research project

Dedy Nur Hidayat, Effendi Gazali, Leen d’Haenens, and Victor Menayang

The Reform movement that ended Suharto’s 32 years of authoritarian rule brought significant changes to Indonesia. It liberated the media, the market, and civil society from State repression. But at the same time, the end of authoritarian rule brought about a vast shift to a libertarian market orientation, especially in the field of mass media. Against this background, a consortium of NGOs, academics in the field of communication and politicians have been trying to establish a ‘middle ground’ for discussions and legal implementation of public and community broadcasting in Indonesia. This paper discusses the outcomes of focus group discussions held in an effort to establish a platform for decentralization of broadcasting in Indonesia. These groups consisted of local people and spokespersons of constituent groups in ten provinces throughout Indonesia. The public hearings showed how constituent groups in society can and should be involved in media policy negotiations which so far predominantly took place at the national level only.

Keywords: Public broadcasting, community broadcasting, Indonesia, action research.

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