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News Content Perspective of TV One and Metro TV in Seeing Indonesia Government Policy

Margynata Kurnia Putra1, Yusa Djuyandi2* and La Mani1

1Department of Communication Science, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia

2Department of Political Science, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia

*Corresponding Author:
Yusa Djuyandi
Department of Political Science
Padjadjaran University
Jl. Raya Bandung-Sumedang Km. 21
Jatinangor, Sumedang, Indonesia
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: Sep 15, 2017; Accepted Date: Nov 1, 2017; Published Date: Nov 8, 2017

Citation: Putra MK, Djuyandi Y, Mani L. Promotion of Educational Institutions through Press and Publicity Work. Global Media Journal 2017, 15:29.

Copyright: © 2017 Putra MK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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In the new order era, media is chained and regarded as a mouthpiece of New Order government. After 17 years the fall of the New Order regime, some of the media in Indonesia still can never escape from the intervention, particularly media owners. This research aims to determine the differences of political perspective of two television media toward the government. The research used qualitative method which relies on secondary data through documentation. The results indicate that the political orientation of the media owners had intervened the media perspective against the government. Media cannot be an objective watchdog of the government, because the news on the televisions is subjective. The media, such as TV One and Metro TV, have different agenda and perspective. The setting of a resource as well as the communications attitude of the TV One host shows its role as a government watchdog. Metro TV has a different attitude; there is tendency to be more cooperative and accommodating with government and the policies of President Joko Widodo.


Media; Government; Intervention; TV One; Metro TV


This work is an analysis to dismantle the structure of the news media owned by investors, as well as political actors who use their media as a means of politics. Writers settled against media organizations because the products by these organizations are able to show social reality as a phenomenon that is close to, and can almost be felt by the community.

These media organizations would have to be accompanied by infrastructure which is not cheap, so it needs large capital to be able to open a media organization. In fact, there only a few people who can manage and distribute funds to the benefit of the operation of media organizations, so that after this era, Indonesia entered the capitalization era of media organizations. Although previously, it is chained and regarded as the mouthpiece of the New Order government authorities, the media is never free from political intervention, namely people with big capital which makes the media as a new industry.

As a new industry in Indonesia, media use message as a commodity to be sold and to get an income, which reused for the benefit of media organization operation, and importantly the return of capital and profits for the owners. In this context, the media organization depends on venture capital, which is end of the capital owners, so that the media organizations inevitably cannot break away from the main interest of investor. This condition appears as a capitalization of media, characterized by euphoria looked as a freedom of the press which was a power transfer from the New Order government to media moguls and investor. So a major influence on the news content, which should contain the principle independence and code of ethics, covered by the business and profit orientation.

This research is not going to produce a new issue, but the advantage of this study lies in analysis of media content, which is restricted to two different media organizations, Metro TV and TV One.

The reasons choosing those media are: First, TV One and Metro TV One owned by the two leaders of political parties in Indonesia; Second, TV One and Metro TV during the last presidential election (2014), are two television stations which carries two different candidates for president and vice president, i.e. TV One supported Parabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa, and Metro TV supported Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla; Third, that political interests are still in progress, only this time, the competition seems to appear in the content related to the programs and policies of the current government.

Theoretical Framework

Media content and objectivity

The most important of media content is not often the explicit message but more to an implicit message and an uncertain message in text media. Media content reflects the purpose and value of the writer, which is then summarized, so the content recipient canunderstand the content, less and more, as intended by the writer [1]. Therefore, this study aims to dismantle the implicit message and its relation to the action of media bias against power, economy, and politics in Indonesia.

The media bias toward certain politic power cannot be separated from the influence and intervention of the owner. Shoemaker [1] mentions the general influence of the media monopoly ownership on news content is prove to be difficult to hold, and it would be dangerous to the principle of freedom of expression and consumer choices. The same condition also mentioned by Subiakto and Ida [2], that the power of mass media ownership will threaten the democratic system in Indonesia. It is because the interest and ideology of owner having some effect on the way of mass media explore the phenomena and social-political reality. Therefore, with subsequent understanding, first, the interpretation of a reality in society is no longer as the monopoly of the ruling government, but is the right of some people with interest and capital; and then second, a social reality is different with single interpretation but can be interpreted broadly from a wide range of different perspectives.

When media content got the intervention from the owner, then this matter can change or lead public’s understanding. So it is not wrong, if West and Turner [3] state that the television and other media play an important role related to how public view the world and confront it. To avoid public perception error on a phenomenon, then the media should be neutral or objective.

Journalistic objectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. Journalistic objectivity requires that a journalist not be on either side of an argument. The journalist must report only the facts and not a personal attitude toward the facts [4].

Data and Methods

This study uses qualitative method. The techniques are through the document from TV One and Metro TV, either text document, electronic data, or online data. The use of data or documents to keep the study is consistent with the assumptions that are owned by the research subjects. In this work, the literature is used as a tool of analysis and documents is used as the subject of analysis.

If referring to the proposed methodology, the research object is the product of coverage and interview with the journalist, which cannot be said as real and value free of phenomena or entity. However, the journalist report turned into content full of meaning because it was constructed by the understanding, interest, and culture that affect the journalist [5].

Results and Discussion

The post new order era and the birth of Reformation era are questioning what is the ideal model of mass communication which suitable with Indonesia value? Is the liberal model of mass communication that emphasizes on freedom? Or the mass communication model that emphasizes on social responsibility? If we choose the liberal model of mass media communication, then, at least, the mass media, especially television can have the main principles, among others: First, media or the press should help people to find the truth. Finding truth trough reasoning is people always need all the access to information and ideas. Second, freedom of expression will create correction. Hence, the various restrictions on the activities of reading and writing should be minimized. Third, sensor is considered as crime based on three reasons:

(1) Sensor violates people right to express freely;

(2) Sensor allows tyrant confirmed in power at the expense of many people;

(3) Sensor hinder the search for truth.

Fourth, justify the government to apply certain restriction which is sanction to spread falsehood. The government is justified to apply the standard of information spreading as the information are not true cannot directly spreading [6].

Construction of TV One and Metro TV about President Joko Widodo and his policy: One of the best ways to understand the relationship between the press and the government is to scrutinize the relationship between the presses with the president. In this study, TV One and Metro TV are chosen as the research object in the arena and the relations of President Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla in any news.

TV One: Since the beginning of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla nomination as President and Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, the media has a tendency towards both of them, especially on TV One and Metro TV. As proof is a quick count of 2014 presidential election, Metro TV became the main base to report the voting progress by declaring Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla has more voice than Prabowo and Hatta Rajasa. But, it is different from TV One. The depiction and packaging messages as well as media presentation of TV One and Metro TV on Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla, as the President and the Vice President and their policies, has a tendency of positive and negative ratings based on each media.

It has become public knowledge that TV One has a changed motto from "TV One Memang Beda" (TV One is indeed different) then "Terdepan Mengabarkan" (Advanced in Spreading News). This motto is reflected in the manifestation of its role about other social structures, for example, against the ruler or the government.

The election of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla as the 7th President and Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, were replacing Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Budiono, showed the contrasting news between TV One and Metro. In a TV program with the theme, "The government's rhetoric" hosted by two news presenters and featuring M. Qadari (MQ) as a Political Observer, Mansinton Pasaribu (MP) from the PDIP politician, and Ruhut Sitompul (RS) as a Member of Parliament. They discuss the national economic downturn (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Discussion about the Government's Rhetoric on TV One.

In the initial discussion fragment, Host 1 (H1) use the statement by President Joko Widodo that the weakening of Indonesia economy due to the conflict of North Korea and South Korea. At the end of his comments, H1 is brave to justify Joko Widodo statement that the economic slowdown is not due to the conflict of the Korean peninsula.

The host position has taken a role as an evaluator, it's just a conclusion or judgment is still too early, because it has not happened yet in depth-search through discussion built and discussions are still ongoing.

The H1’s question lead the sources in the debate of President statement, but MP as part of President affiliation political party give support statement “today’s economy related with global factor, mutual influence, and identifying like a spider’s web that if one vibrates the other also vibrating”.

In this discussion, MQ has similar frame with H1 which plays as evaluator and critics of the president because it considers that a weakening economy is a form of government inability and the government cannot do anything.

The next fragment of a quote these discussions are still debating the behavior and attitudes of government Joko Widodo in fixing the economy.

MG argued that Joko Widodo government make breakthroughs such as the national budget allocation to the productive sector, Indonesia Smart Card, Indonesia Health Card, and assist young labor.

Second fragment of this discussion is H1 and MQ want to lead the debate about Joko Widodo and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. However the RS statement as the Democratic Party cadres seems explain the political attitude of the Democratic Party that will help the government ("do not disturb the government, help the government") and oversee the government until 2019.

The last fragment of this discussion is about SBY politic behavior that he tends to distance with the government and even emphasized to help central government. But in the closing, MQ seems indifferent with MP and RS, because MQ tried to correct each program of Joko Widodo government.

Moreover, until the end of the program, MQ does not provide a logical solution for the government of Joko Widodo to get out from the weakening of national finances.

There are many dimensional debates when Joko Widodo issued a policy to raise fuel prices. This policy is considered troublesome for common people and very different with what was stated in his campaign before he became president.

Related to this matter, there is a talkshow hosted by Didi as host 1 and Anggi as host 2, with guests: Ramson Siagian (RS), Heri Budianto (HB), Daryatmo Mardiyanto (DM), with the topic "Politics of Increasing Fuel (BBM)".

In this debate program, RS said that the Jokowi (Joko Widodo) government is different with what was stated in his campaign. The campaign claims as a representation by defending common people but it becomes troublesome. Then, associated with the fuel, RS claims the government policy with fuel subsidy budget 247 trillion rupiah has unclear designation. The emphasis from RS requires for transparency from the government related to fuel and the increasing price. Then the speaker considers that the policies taken by the government should not become a means of duping the public. RS argument is pure opinion which built on mathematical logic that does not have an authentic reference base to justify his argument (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Discussion Session about Fuel Price Rises on TV One.

The second fragment of dialogue quote is relatively similar in communication message packaging in a dialogue program “The Government’s Rhetoric”, where the host leads the guest based on the hosts’ conclusion. For example is “what kind of position? Is it the position of PDI-P or Jokowi-JK government? Because, it said that all candidate supports the people, but now the policies do not support the people”. The host had justified or concluded the material for dialogue, but the host’s role is only guiding and not as a judge in concluding the dialogue. Then, in this second fragment, HB explained the direct effect of the increased fuel (BBM) price is the increasing price of other needs. The government promise to take common people side but in reality, fuel price is increasing. RS and HB agree to blame government’s policy in increasing fuel price.

The third fragment of the above dialogue, H2 and the guests repeatedly emphasize that the 247 billion rupiah budget was not transparently used by government and claimed by H2 and RS that the budget is too much. The plan to increase BBM price is not appropriate because the world crude oil price is decline. Also, according to RS, substantive policy is transparent.

The fourth dialogue’s fragment, H1 emphasizes that the increasing price of BBM is unreasonable because the world crude oil price has been declined and the economy slowed. H1 reiterated the statement of RS and HB to be confronted with DM as a parliament member who supported the government policy in increasing BBM price as the world crude oil is decreased. DM’s argument, as part of government, stated that what is done by Jokowi government is concrete and open as well as pro with people.

In the fifth dialogue’s fragment, DM explains the transparency of Jokowi government. Before the proposal to increase the fuel and the increasing is already protected and facilitated by the state budget with a reserve of social protection. The way is by outlining concrete steps of government which used to be BLT and now is being modified as saving. DM, as a part of Jokowi government, fully supports the president’s policies and actions that are considered as remarkable things.

In the last fragment, of each source does not did not provide arguments agreement on the debate theme, so the public does not have a reference for understanding the end of the dialogue related to the plan to increase fuel price. Each source has reference and point of view in describing the transparency. RS as the contra-side with the plan of increasing fuel price, claimed that DM argument is unclear because DM is failed in describing the cost of goods sold and selling price as to be subsidized.

The dialog above has no similarity meaning in each participant. In communication theory, if there is different opinion or no similar meaning it means the communication is not effective. The reasons for dissimilarity meaning or ineffectiveness of the communication process, among others are:

(1) Differences in the terms of reference and the framework of cognition;

(2) The situational context of the communication;

(3) The existence of a high entropy of each participant communication;

(4) Forms of communication.

Metro TV: From September to October 2015, Indonesia experienced economic downturn. Metro TV provides description about Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla as the weakening of rupiah currency rate to US dollar has fallen beyond 14.000 rupiah per US dollar. The news shows that the journalism role of Metro TV is passive, which only serves as a disseminator, observer, and supporter.

Metro TV News transcript of “The Economic Downturn”: Metro TV role as disseminator means the media merely reported the facts presented by the economic downturn of the audience what their government without including interpretation and criticism to the government. Then Metro TV journalist in the dialogue above was only describing the steps by Joko Widodo in response to economic downturn by collecting a number of national employers, the state and the entire cabinet ministers working at the Bogor Palace. Moreover, President argued that the economic downturn due to the global influence and as a result of North Korean and South Korean conflict. The news emphasizes on the reason of economic downturn is not due to internal factors of state and government but solely to external influences.

Metro TV portrays as if the economic downturn does not have big implication for public economy life because it seemed that news’ sentences related to the increase of computer price reached 10%, and also the increased turnover where the notebook price still increasing rather than the past months before the Rupiah weakening. Furthermore, for electronic products has not increased. That news emphasizes that the weakening of rupiah do not have substantial implications for Indonesian.

The quote of Metro TV news on “Rupiah Weakens, Face with Optimism”: The news shows that the President optimists by saying that Indonesia is better than other countries. His visit to abroad will bring investment to Indonesia. The president is also comparing 2015 with 2014 and at the same month from January to February, 2015 now has increased two-fold with the amount of 47 trillion. Based on the news, it can be stated that the position of Metro TV as observer and disseminator of message that delivered by President to the public. It is even supporting the behavior of President Joko Widodo in addressing economic slowdown.

The quote of third news on “30 Billion Rupiah for New Employment”: Based on syntactic and schematic theory, the writing of the headline shows the economic slowdown which is the government's way to cope with providing assistance to small businesses because they are the most susceptible with the falling value of rupiah. In this news, Metro TV is only reporting without comparative comment or evaluator from the narrator or the observer to a statement by Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Thematic style of Metro TV that related to the economic slowdown is being entitled with “National Economic Rise”. In the reality, national economic was experiencing shock, but then the news only shows the President Joko Widodo, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and the ministries (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Vice President Statement on the fall of Rupiah Value on Metro TV.

Media in democracy is the hope to act as watchdog. It means media can be guard from the ruler dominance in the news. In gestural, Metro TV is supporter of the government and not as a guard regarding to the watchdog role. In other words, the ruler or the founder of the state views the media to oversee the delinquent ruling to remain upright [7].


TV One and Metro TV have different agenda and point of view. It looks from the gesture, setting, and semantic of the guests as well as the attitude communication of TV One Host who shows its role as a government watchdog (watchdog role). Moreover, the host and the guest became the government evaluator for the daring to express incorrect attitude towards government.

It cannot be denied that media in democracy is the hope to act as watchdog. It means the media can be a watchdog of the ruler dominance in the news, but the television did not have the competence to judge the government and sole discretion.

Metro TV has different attitude with TV One, where Metro TV is more cooperative and accommodative with the government and policy of President Joko Widodo. So, the so the impression from Metro TV does not act as a watchdog, and the evaluator, but only plays role as a disseminator or reporter.

In the last dialogue fragment of TV One, the guest did not provide arguments agreement on the debate theme, so the public does not have a reference for understanding the end of the dialogue related to the plan to increase fuel price (BBM) and the weakening economy. In the dialogue does not happen the similarity meaning between the participant and the guest. It happened because there are differences of reference framework and political cognition participants’ framework; situational context of communication; and the high entropy of each communication participant.


The researchers would like to thanks to Bina Nusantara University for the research grant.


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