The Journalism Crisis in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia

  • Dudi Iskandar (Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Budi Luhur University) ;
  • Deddy Mulyana (Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Universitas Padjadjaran) ;
  • Sitti Murni Kaddi (Faculty of Social and Politics Sciences at the Tadulako University)
  • Published : 2023.12.31


The focus of this research is the practice of journalism in relation to the Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship (JFPP) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Journalists and curators who are participants in the Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship received fundings from the state. The Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship is a unique model because it is the only one in the world in journalism practice that involves state's financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. These fundings from the state for the media lead to dilemmas and controversies. This research uses a qualitative approach and a single holistic case study method. The Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship was held from May to December 2021, involving 7,276 journalists from 857 media (print, television, radio, and online media) and 26 curators. This study found that during the Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship, journalism experienced a crisis and lost its function as a control overpower. Giving cash to journalists and curators during the fellowship makes journalism lose its independence and objectivity. The Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship has degraded or eliminated the function of the press as a watchdog. Incentives for journalists while participating in the Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship is a long-term investment by the government to co-opt Indonesian media and journalists in the future. On the other hand, the Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship raises another aspect; the crisis of journalism. Journalism work produced in the Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship does not reflect the values and principles of journalism. Journalism values, such as independence and impartiality, are absent from the Behavioural Change Journalism Fellowship product.



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