Concentration of Media Ownership in Indonesia: A Setback for Viewpoint Diversity
This study seeks to explore the setbacks for viewpoint diversity during and after Indonesia’s 2014 and 2019 presidential elections. Within the context of liberal-democratic Indonesia, it examines the extent to which ownership concentration shapes political viewpoints in news media. Based on document analysis, evidence review, and in-depth interviews with academics, media advocates, and journalists, this study attempts to showcase the interlinkages between media ownership and viewpoint diversity in the Indonesian media market. We argue that media ownership shapes news content in Indonesia’s heavily politicized context. Consequently, areas with highly concentrated media ownership and liberal media policies cannot readily offer diverse political viewpoints in media organizations. Although the influence is not straightforward, a lack of infrastructure for ensuring balance in news media outlets’ ownership limits ownership and viewpoint diversity throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Therefore, strong policies promoting diversity in ownership and in political viewpoints are needed to safeguard the country’s democracy.
media diversity, viewpoint diversity, ownership concentration, news media, oligarchy, Indonesia, journalism, broadcasting, media system