Mass media and social networks play a huge role in influencing public opinion in Australia and Indonesia. In the lead-up to the Australian elections in September 2013, media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia were accused of bias against the Rudd-Gillard government. Meanwhile in Indonesia’s legislative elections, much of Jokowi’s success was attributed to a successful campaign on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
The advantages of a free and transparent media can very quickly transform into disadvantages. From media bias in Australia, to the spying scandal and images of Indonesia as a terrorist nation, we will look into the role media has played in shaping public opinion of the bilateral relationship.
Should journalists have this much influence? Are media organisations driven by a quest for profits? Do political parties manipulate the media to their advantage? How do new media platforms affect public opinion? And, to what extent does the media influence the strength and direction of the bilateral relationship?
Michael Bachelard, Indonesia Correspondent at Fairfax Media
Michael Bachelard is the Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax media, publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age. Prior to his posting to Indonesia worked as a political reporter and workplace relations writer for 24 years
In 2005, Michael was awarded a Jefferson Fellowship. He is also a Walkley and Quill award-winning journalist. The Walkley awards recognises excellence in Australian journalism and the Quill awards, reward excellence in Victorian journalism.
Michael is the author of two books. His most recent book ‘Behind the Exclusive Brethren’ is a non-fiction book focusing on the sect ‘Exclusive Brethren’ in Australia. Michael is a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) graduate from the Australian National University.
Citra Dyah Prastuti, Editor of PortalKBR.com
Citra Dyah Prastuti has been a journalist with KBR (Radio News Agency) for more than 10 years. Starting out as a reporter, then editor, producer and broadcaster for live talk shows, news bulletins and an magazine show. In 2005, she pursued her Master’s degree in Critical Media and Cultural Studies in SOAS, University of London through the Chevening scholarship. She blogged extensively about her life while studying in London and in 2010 published her online stories in a book titled “Cheers, UK!” (Gagas Media).
In 2011, she received a fellowship from the ABC’s Radio National to produce a radio documentary, exploring the life of a woman and the reality of family planning in West Java in “Eros, Mother of 25 Children”. Tthe following year, her one-hour radio documentary “Timor’s Lost Generation” was broadcast by Radio National. She also teaches radio investigative journalism at the University of Indonesia and provides training for the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and Indonesian Association for Media Development (PPMN). She now leads the online platform of KBR, PortalKBR.com.
Dr Ross Tapsell researches the media in Indonesia and Malaysia. He was a recipient of the Australian Government Endeavour Postdoctorate Award, where he conducted research on press freedom and media ownership in Indonesia.
He has been a Visiting Fellow at The University of Indonesia, Airlangga University (Surabaya) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Jakarta). He has also worked with The Jakarta Post and the Lombok Post.
Ross began lecturing at the School of Culture, History and Language in 2011. His book, By-Lines, Balibo and the Bali bombings: Australian journalists in Indonesia, will be published in 2014.
Purwani Diyah Prabandari is a journalist of Tempo International Media, a publisher of Tempo magazine (Indonesian and English) and Koran Tempo daily. During her time at Tempo, she has been involved with the politics and international sections. Previously she also spent her 3 years as bureau chief in Bandung dan Yogyakarta in 2007-2010.
She is the recipient of several fellowships including Journalism and Democracy Course by Centre for Democratic Institute in Australia (2000) and Medialink Fellowhip, a journalist exchange program by Asialink in Australia, 2004. She also a fellow of International Visitor Program to the USA by USIA in 1997 and Senior Journalist Seminar of East West Center, US, 2009. Prabandari holds a bachelor degree of International Relations from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta.