The Performance of the Indonesian Press in the Era of Decentralization: Moving Beyond its Imperative Function

Ana Nadya Abrar


In this study I took a normative approach to examine the performance of the Indonesian Press in the era of decentralization. My approach included intensive observations on the Indonesia press system and survey among 330 Indonesian journalists and 55 head regencies and 55 regency’s secretaries. My analysis of the data and their context revealed the professionalism of Indonesian journalists. In their own opinion, the Indonesian journalists had a high level of professionalism. However, the bureaucrats questioned their self-assurance. Therefore, it was difficult to determine the actual level of professionalism of the Indonesian Journalists throughout the many regions in Indonesia. Fortunately, the Indonesian journalists were free to report news according to the values in which they believed. Based on this condition, the Indonesia press owners no longer had to fulfill the political and commercial imperative functions of the press. The Indonesian press did not limit itself to report political news, but also cultural news to improve of life of Indonesian citizens. In conclusion, I consider that the Indonesian press has moved beyond its imperative function. 


the Indonesian press, era of decentralization, professionalism, the Indonesian journalists, and imperative function.

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Department of Communication Studies
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Yogyakarta, Indonesia