Asia Pacific Media Educator


Kingsbury Damien (1997)
Culture And Politics: Issues In Australian Journalism On Indonesia, 1975-93
Australia-Asia Papers No. 80. Centre for the Study of Australia Asia Relations.Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld. September. ISBN 0 86857 782 O

Review Essay by Martin Hirst

Culture and Politics is a timely reminder of the delicate nature of the Australian news media's relationship with the Indonesian regime and that so-called "cultural sensitivities' are really no more than political expediency (inter alia p.149). Indonesian journalists, as well as those visiting from Australia, are subject to harsh criticism when it suits the Jakarta government. Even worse, local journalists are banned, or have their publications closed down, if they transgress the tough written and unwritten rules of behaviour. As Kingsbury notes, for their sins (real and imagined) several Australian journalists have been expelled from Indonesia over the past 15 years. We're also reminded that in 1975 six Australian reporters were murdered by Indonesian soldiers when they tried to cover the invasion of East Timor.