Wars Within: The Story of Tempo, an Independent Magazine in Soeharto's Indonesia

Sampul Depan
Equinox Pub., 2005 - 328 halaman
For the 23 years prior to its banning on June 21, 1994, Tempo magazine was Indonesia's most important news weekly, and its chief editor, Goenawan Mohamad, one of Indonesia's leading poets and intellectuals. Yet despite its influence, the history of Tempo magazine is not widely known. All aspects of Tempo's history, including its roots in the literary and cultural milieu of the 1960s, its economic organization and management, its internal culture and system of deciding what's news, and its strategies for survival within a repressive press system, provide a window into the political and cultural history of Indonesia's New Order. Tempo occupied an ambiguous position in Indonesia's New Order, and Wars Within: The Story of Tempo, an Independent Magazine in Soeharto's Indonesia explores these contradictions and paradoxes. Clearly a product of the New Order, Tempo nevertheless presented independent points of view, often at considerable risk. Soeharto's government was never monolithic, and the story of how Tempo managed to survive 23 years of autocratic rule sheds light on the culture and politics of modern Indonesia. It also sheds light on broader questions concerning the role of the press in developing countries - and on the kinds of negotiation that must go on for an essentially democratic institution to exist in an authoritarian space. Written in a narrative style, Wars Within utilizes a variety of methods and sources, including participant observation, a content analysis of Tempo's National section, close reading of Tempo's coverage of key episodes including the 1984 incident at Tanjung Priok, previously unpublished archival materials, and over one hundred interviews with the magazine'sfounders, writers, and contributors. Wars Within is an ideal supplemental text in courses on Southeast Asian history, politics, and culture, as well as in courses on international communication and media studies. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Janet Steele is an Associate Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University, and is especially interested in how culture is communicated through the mass media. She is a frequent visitor to Indonesia, where she lectures on topics ranging from narrative news writing to the theory and practice of journalism. A former Fulbright professor in the American Studies program at the University of Indonesia (1997-8), she has been awarded a second Fulbright teaching and research grant to Indonesia for 2005-2006.

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