Irony of the Media and its Messages:

Irony of the Media and its Messages: Victims of Industrialization and Power
Umi Lasminah

There is an irony in the pillars of democracy and labor lately. Mass media incessantly preaching about the struggle of the workers and the workers, the workers turned out in the media itself, such as MetroTV.

I follow the news and the struggle of Luviana, a journalist 10 years in MetroTV, last position assistant producer. MetroTv Viewers who recognized her voice may often hear Luviana read feature story or news program on MetroTv. She also has spent her time in her workplace to induce gender issues in the media she worked for. Yet Luviana has to face to be fired just because she and her friends try to form Worker Union. Luviana who is also active in the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), and with AJI supported by various organizations fighting for judicial Review in Constitutional Court on how Media Companies domination and hegemony will slow down the democratization and independency of information. The Constitution Court rejected the appealed, and decided that the media conglomeration do not endanger democracy.

Media conglomerate is the ownership of the mass media especially television business with the ability to control or monopolize the content of news and information delivered to the public. Only big companies can retain and pay for air frequencies of which State property. If the air is controlled by one or two people, let alone the political background, it is certainly very dangerous for democracy. I could not have news about a particular candidate, a pro-people, because the candidate has no association with any television media, and cannot afford to pay for airtime (buying program on television, the candidates will not broadcast on TV, when people needs information). At this point people have lived in littler information. Only the elite were lucky enough to have access to news and information about the developments of their day. What about this situation, Indonesia although have Public Television of TVRI, yet the power over the media still persisted, what is the product or content options: Who creates media? What is it that citizens are consuming? In context of news information to be perceived by citizens, the rule is public interest first.

Media History and Its Message
Media in Indonesia have different path than the western media. The very beginning of struggle for independence media has already been mayor tools for the freedom movement.

The term media in this paper were all information, entertainment were package through print, or electronic. The subject writing is more focus to electronic media television sphere. Media in Indonesia have different path than the western media. The very beginning of struggle for independence media has already been mayor tools for the freedom movement. At that time the media is part of publication and information tools for struggle against colonialism. Indonesia first print media has not been part of industry that was during the colonial era, when the region name still Dutch Indies. The name of Indonesia has already been use by many patriots even when Indonesia not yet achieved its freedom. One of the pioneer of nationalist movement formed organization Perhimpunan Indonesia

It was tool for struggle for independence. At those time, most of editors are also marketing, also a reporter. The paper sold basically for communication tools between members of the movement, sometimes it paper were circulated underground. First print Indonesia newspaper was Medan Priyayi, established by R.M Tirtohadisoerjo, it follow by other newspaper for the movement Oetoesoan Hindia by Oemar Said Tjokroaminoto (Sarekat Islam), Hindia Bergerak by Ki Hajar Dewantara (nationalist, Taman Siswa founder). Most of the newspaper were not continue due to banned by colonialist or out of capital. The relationship within the media and message at this time is definitely coexisting relation. Without the message created, formulated by the editors there will be no information. The message is most part the spirit and encourages the movement for freedom of nation. Early days of Indonesia independent first daily newspaper was Berita Indonesia published 6 September 1945, and newspaper Merdeka with BM Diah as chief of editor . This period showed how media could create real space of transforming the idea to the people. But due to limited resources of fund and the people who can access media (people still illiterate and low economic) are the main reason for its limitation. The condition where mass for print media became embedded with the political entities needs media.

Electronic media Radio has started long ago before Indonesia independent, national Indonesia television started on air in 1962. It was TVRI, State Public Broadcast first aired in 24 August 1962 at the same time of 4th ASIAN Games . The Indonesia first television station was established with President Decree Keppres No. 215/1963 TVRI Foundation with Presiden as the chair. All through the years to 1989, TVRI was the only television broadcast from Indonesia. Mainly the programs are about government information.

Since reformation era, where the television not only TVRI (Televisi Republik Indonesia), after 1989, it follows, SCTV (Surya Citra Televisi Indonesia, 1990 for Surabaya only, later in 1993 Jakarta base, and in 1999 national broadcast), TPI (Televisi Pendidikan Indonesia, 1991),

According to Broadcasting Law No.32./2003 Television broadcasting is a medium of mass communication hearing and viewing, that delivered ideas and information in general by form of sound and image, whether open or closed, formed in a regular and continuous program.
While according to Broadcasting Law No.4,1997 Broadcasting is broadcasting pemancarluasan activities by means of broadcasting and / or transmission facilities in the west, at sea or in space using electromagnetic waves, cable, fiber optics, and / or other media to be accepted by society with receiver with receiver machine of television broadcast , or electronic divices with or without supporting tools.

Almost for 26years Indonesia air program has not yet invade by foreign program. It was since RCTI aired the MTV video in 1989.

Industrialization of Media and Workers

War on Information become significant tool of politics after Cold War ended. Cultural influences of the US corporations through media significantly rising and have airplay or channel all over the world. The MTV come to air its Indonesia channel in 1995. It ended airing in GlobalTv by 2012. International circumstance on mediasphere also shaped Indonesia media. The world becomes convergence since 1989 in time the Berlin Wall. News media buzz everyone heads, and inspired as the winning time of liberal democracy surround the world. After the world ended Cold War its began the globalized media of which lean to liberal, it means in country as Indonesia, which media has not yet ever been as industry, now turning a new path. Media have invaded people life from different source, it enter to people mind within area of public space to private space. It all happened in the hands of digitally media. The United States pioneered the public relations industry. Its commitment was “to control the public mind’ as its leaders put it.

Print Media to Television Vice Versa exist in Indonesia after reformation. Since 1999 print media mushrooming, yet only few succeeded to continue. Among them survive most are failed to continue. With liberal media, this periode between 1999-2002 there were also have media semi porno that exploited women bodies.
There two news television station first they were print media corporation; now have television statition Kompas and Tempo.
All the character are the same, produce reproducing the news. Industrial character to produced and reproduced can be found in television. If you see the news Karakter industri: manufaktur: produksi sama: reproduced

In modern world when industrialization became the system life, almost everything is manufacture. Even the body is used in pornography, cosmetics or certain sports. Industry that support by capitalism created greediness in human being, we hardly found something genuine and original.

Manufacturing content, manufacturing consent, content citizens being manufactured through the media content amounts to propaganda. With their power over the tools in media maker and news making, the Corporation have huge influence over time and how long duration of the dispersing the news.

Any industry needs capital, needs investment and it always have the owner the investor. One condition that never be prepared by the pro democratic activists and its leader is how the media become powerful almost like a dictator in a way the news is forced by media owners.

In time where there are more workers who graduated university and yet has not find a job, the journalists are the workers, the cheap labor. The situation is like any industry, of which in journalist labor produced news, and selling news. Yet it has never gave any surplus value when the people buy newspaper or media and it bring profit for the media company, at least not in Indonesia. In that matter, the media corporation in search of profit in replacement of surplus value by finds other source, advertising price, other corporation media and gain political power. Most surplus value comes from other media, not news, it is entertainment.

Manufacturing content, manufacturing consent, content citizens being manufactured through the media content amounts to propaganda. With their power over the tools in media maker and news making, the Corporation have huge influence over time and how long duration of the dispersing the news.

The mushrooming publishing print media since 1998 and later private television in 2000s has not yet bring about balance needs of information and information feed by the media to the people. Government Regulation PP 50/2005 regulated private broadcasting, creating more and more space of corporation to have air power.

The twelve owners of media corporations its impact in concentration of the news, ‘monopoly’ stream and air. And the television has great way to compile information and distribute information. In this way the corporation has the power of hegemony to people’s mind. In particular when of news media television owner has directly link with the political political party. They will brought the news according to their benefit and will not airing the news that damag the image of the party or the owner. The latest documentary film Dibalik Frekuensi (Behind the Frequency) showed it all. The condition of media monopoly has been acknowledged that might cause deficiency in democracy due to follow:
1. Manufacturing Messages
Packaging and manufacturing the messages by the corporate media, because of conglomeration, its makes the news on many media has similar tone and perspectives: such as TvOne has the same news and angel with ANTV and and other radio stations owns by its Bakrie’s group.

Since Indonesia has entered the liberal democracy, the media not only follow what drive by market or by capital. When and where. In time of election days, target message packaged by news company is to create opinion and perception about certain matter, i.e the MetroTv program of Marketing– donot sell by demand, but by design of producer.
Consumer passive, cannot have many choices.
2. People hard to seek out other news angel and perspective
In Indonesia national news television are only three, TVRI, Metrotv and TVOne. The last two are own by leader of political party: TvOne by Aburizal Bakrie of Golkar Party and MetroTv by Surya Paloh of Nasdem Party.
3.Perpetuatiion class segregation in workers
Western has valued human from their attribute “status”, “education”, “class economy”
— skill brain as worker the consumer.
The worker as pretend themselves as white collar, while having threat to be fired anytime.
Worker cannot avoid the structural adjustment conduct by the managerial.


In Indonesia the media character all influenced by global as national condition. As for news media the character each times are different. The viewer and readers as well as the creators are different.
In colonial era
– the media are tools of the movement, the creator are the activist for independent of Indonesia .
– it produced and published silently and distributed limited

Book reference:

Mapping Media Policy in Indonesia, Yanuar Nugroho, Muhamad Fajri Siregar, Shita Laksmi, Report Series: Engaging Meida, empowering society: Assessing Media Policy and Governance in Indonesia through the lens of citizens’s rights: CIPG, Hivos, 2012

Chomsky Noam, Herman Manufacturing Consent
Noam Chomsky, Media Control,. The Spectacular Achievement of Propaganda, Open Media 1997

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