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Between Fear and Power: Kompas, Indonesia's Most Influential Daily Newspaper

Wijayanto defended his thesis on 17 January 2019

W. Wijayanto
17 January 2019
Leiden Repository

In order to shed light on what happens to the media when a political regime changes from an authoritarian one to a democracy, this book has investigated the biography, and the journalistic values and practices of Kompas daily newspaper: the largest and oldest national newspaper in Indonesia, with special emphasis on the newspaper’s relationship with the power holders across different political administrations. This book argues that Kompas has developed a polite, indirect and cautious style of journalism that has changed very little after the fall of Indonesia’s authoritarian regime, limiting the newspaper’s capacity to function as a critical watchdog of the power holders, and preventing it from becoming a mobilizing force in the development of Indonesian democracy. This particular style of journalism developed during the authoritarian period as a result of two different, intertwining factors which shaped the habitus of Kompas; these were both cultural and political economy factors. After the regime change, this journalistic style was preserved, because to a considerable degree the same cultural, political and economic forces continued to operate within and upon the newspaper.

Supervisor: prof. dr. D.E.F. Henley, co-supervisor: Dr. W. Berenschot

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