The Bourdieuan Triangle of Journalism, Political and Economic Fields: Brief Milestones of Indonesian Journalism in Surabaya

Nanang Krisdinanto, Achmad Supardi

Abstract


The focus of this study is journalism in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, home to numerous print media and was a hotspot for Indonesia’s independence struggle against the colonial ruler. It utilises Bourdieu’s conceptions on field, capital, and habitus as the main framework to elaborate tensions, resistance, and dynamics in journalism during the final years of the colonial period and the ear of Old Order, New Order and Reform. Analysis on archives and interviews with key sources found that the journalistic field in Surabaya, and Indonesia in general, was linked closer to politics during the Colonial and Old Order eras, characterized by resistance against colonial ruler and partisanship in supporting the newly founded political parties. However, this character shifted drastically during the New Order and Reform eras during which Indonesia’s journalism was more closely connected to economics that created the emergence of commercial press. Surabaya Post, the Surabaya-based local newspaper that dominated the newspaper market in East Java Province during 1970s-1990s positioned itself as an evening newspaper while all other newspapers were morning newspaper. It also positioned itself as independent while almost all other big newspapers at the time were partisan and became the megaphone for political parties. This positioning was carefully chosen by Surabaya Post in order to gain more financial reward. It marked the emergence of commercial press and the shift of dominant external power influencing the dynamics of journalism from politics to economics.


Keywords: Journalistic field, Surabaya, commercial press, press of struggle, colonial.


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