Media has an important role in strengthening social resilience. As society's agent of change, the media even contributes to Indonesia's process of democracy. However, to encourage its contribution to social strengthening, the notion of second media age needs to be considered.
Those were the debate during a public discussion entitled â€œSocial Resilience Improvement by Communication Media,â€ Friday (26/3) in the seminar room of UGM's Graduate School. The speakers of this event were Head of Public Information Agency, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Freddy H. Tulung, member of Press Council, Wira Armada, S.H., M.A., M.B.A., UGM's cultural expert, Prof. Dr. Timbul Haryono, and UGM's sociologist, Prof. Dr. Heru Nugroho.
According to the sociology expert, the formation of the second media age must be supported by decentralized information, two-ways communication, distributive state control, democratized information, and individual awareness strengthening. â€œUntil now, giving a role to the media always starts from the first media age in which information is centrally produced, which is one for many and is one-way,â€ he explained.
Heru expected that some day media smart society will emerge. He also expected that rejections would occur against mediaÂ programs that are not educative, for example the young generation producing t-shirts voicing "anti-electronic movies" campaign. If NGOs, University and community unite and become a movement, he is assured that the media industry will change.
The sociology expert also criticized the media conglomeration that causes difficulty in realizing idealism to create social change because of the ownerâ€™s economic and political interests. Besides, he also criticized governmentâ€™s weakness in monitoring and giving sanction to the media that do not air programs that are not educating. â€œThe fact is that after reform, many media have biased economic and political reports. Government's supervision is very weak as shown by the work of the Indonesian Journalists Association and Indonesian Broadcasting Commission,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, Wira Armada emphasized that qualified journalists will very determine the media's role in influencing social opinion and resilience. Therefore, their professionalism and ethics are very much needed. â€œThe press should establish professional and ethical values to improve social resilience. In contrast, the unprofessional press can destroy democracy,â€ he ended.