Asia Pacific Media Educator


Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) (2001)
Annual Report 2000-2001: Euforia, Konsentrasi Modal dan Tekanan Massa (Euphoria, Capital Concentration and Public Pressure),
Jakarta, AJI Indonesia. 128 pp. ISBN 979-95689-7-8

Reviewed by Dedy N. Hidayat

The significance of this annual report, from the Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists, is that it immediately plays a part in the broad debate about the compatibility between economic liberalisation and democracy. Free-market fundamentalists postulate that “the greater the play of the market forces, the greater the freedom of the press; the greater the freedom of the press, the greater the freedom of consumer choice”. Advocates of the liberal political-economy perspective also tend to uphold the proposition that liberalisation or deregulation of Indonesia’s media industry will support a process of democratisation, creating a free-market place of ideas where the public has sovereignty to determine which media industry products they will consume. However, the concerns of Indonesian journalists, which are poured into this annual report, offer a competing proposition. In the context of capitalistic development in post-New Order Indonesia (i.e. May 1998 onwards), the media industry’s liberalisation is not proving compatible with the freedom of the press, operation of public sovereignty and expression of public interest that are vital for the process of democratisation of national life.