Prof. Ana Nadhya Abrar of the UGM Department of Communication Science was inaugurated as a new Professor of Journalism on Thursday (10/3). In his inaugural speech, Abrar talked about the boundary of journalism in biographical writing.
According to him, writing biographies has become a thing now as more and more people are keen to identify themselves as biographers. A study revealed that biographers in Indonesia come from various professions, such as historians, intellectuals, activists, politicians, retired soldiers, writers, and journalists.
Abrar opines journalists who write biographies are at an advantage because they are accustomed to using language as a means of interaction. By creating narratives and biographical stories using journalistic language, journalists have broad opportunities to produce outputs that promote human values.
“Biographers must demonstrate their writing skills. If they are not skilled at writing, the biographies they write will not get a warm welcome from the audience,” he said.
Furthermore, producing a biography requires an in-depth fact-gathering technique. Its ultimate purpose is to highlight and convey the desired discourses contained in the figures being told, in addition to a quality narrative.
“Of the many discourses presented in biographies, the main ones must be captured by the public,” he explained.
Abrar added that because all the discourses presented were based on objective evidence, biographers could understand and explain the existing reality through their writings. Even when they use the technicalities of journalism in telling a character, they are not trying to take on the role of historian.
“They are just displaying historical charm, presenting facts that are important, interesting, dramatic, and contain human interest. This prioritization of human values is the boundary of journalism in biographical writing,” concluded the Professor.
Author: Gusti Grehenson