The itinerant rise of the professionalised class of political pollsters, consultancies and statistic-analytical institutes in the Indonesian electoral scene has, in recent months, been accompanied by an analogous rise of a proto opinion-mining, sentiment-tracking industry in cyber-space, facilitated by an increasingly mediated environment. While newer forms of online media platforms have yet to replace traditional mass-media, the felt effects of individual aggrandisement and vicarious political marketing derived from these platforms proved to be very effective. This paper explores aspects of new media and its nascent influence upon Indonesian politics in the race to 2014. It examines how a more participatory post-Reformasi climate had joined forces with various aspects of new media, providing the electorate with greater leverage over their choice of candidates following the precipitous rise of populist media doyens like Joko Widodo. This paper concludes that aspects of new media are steadily gaining currency as a legitimate mainstream indicator of candidature electability even as voters’ allegiance gradually shifts away from party to personality in Indonesia.
About the Authors
Jonathan Chen is an Associate Research Fellow in the Indonesia Programme of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. His research interests include political parties of Indonesia, state and society in Indonesia, the Indonesian ethnic Chinese community, contemporary issues of Timor-Leste and China-Indonesia relations. Jonathan graduated with a Master’s Degree in International Relations from RSIS in 2010. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Southeast Asia Studies from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS).
Adhi Priamarizki is a Senior Analyst in the Indonesia Programme of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. His research interests include Indonesian politics and military transformation. Adhi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung, Indonesia, and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from RSIS.
Country and Region Studies / Southeast Asia and ASEAN / Working Papers
Last updated on 02/09/2014