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Shifting Meme Content during Information Development on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia  

Kadri, Kadri (Department of Communication of Islamic Broadcasting, Universitas Islam Negeri Mataram)
Jumrah, Jumrah (Department of English Education, Universitas Islam Negeri Mataram)
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Journal of Information Science Theory and Practice / v.10, no.1, 2022 , pp. 30-44 More about this Journal
This research aims to identify and reveal the meaning of memes about COVID-19, and explain changes in meme content in regard to the information development of COVID-19 in Indonesia published by the mass media and online media. The data is sourced from memes that are shared on social media, especially WhatsApp groups in the period of January to June 2020. To reveal the meaning of memes, a semiotic analysis of Roland Barthes' model is used. Qualitative analysis is used to reveal the relationship between memes and the information development of COVID-19 in Indonesia. The results of the study show that meme content has shifted according to three stages of information development of COVID-19 in Indonesia published by the mass media and online media. When COVID-19 was not yet confirmed in Indonesia, meme content contained mostly humor that was not educative, moreover it seemed to underestimate the coronavirus. Meme content which is mostly humorous and pornographic occurred when COVID-19 was confirmed in Indonesia and during the lockdown policy. At last, as the government has begun to distribute social assistance, the meme content looks more critical. The results of this research emphasize the urgency of the mass media as a source of public information during the COVID-19 pandemic, become a reference for the community in making memes as a forum for expressing feelings and social criticism, and serve as a reference for the government to act and make the right decisions related to the pandemic that is endemic in their country.
COVID-19; content analysis; Indonesia; information; memes; social media;
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