Literature, politics and media in Indonesia are considered as having very close relations with each other. Compared to overseas media, such as of Australia, Indonesia’s media have different characteristics, for example in the presentation of literature and culture. In the Indonesian media, literature and culture have more space than the media in Australia.
In addition, in Indonesia there are several journalists who also write literature and politics, among others, Mochtar Lubis. "Well, if we're talking about Mochtar Lubis, the relationship between politics and literature in Indonesia would appear to be closer," said Prof. David T. Hill of the Asian Studies Program, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Education and Creative Media, Murdoch University in Murdoch, Western Australia, in discussing his latest book, Journalism and Politics in Indonesia, in UGM Graduate Seminar Room, Tuesday (16/8).
The book discussion is also held in order to launch the Public Communication Corner (PCC) Department of Communication Studies of UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. PCC is one of the important units in UGM as an interaction space between guest researchers (foreign and domestic), stakeholders, and various other public institutions.
David T. Hill sees the figure of Mochtar Lubis - known as intellectual, journalist and writer - as a secular but modern intellectual. Mochtar Lubis has a remarkable capacity that subsequently through his writing he can connect and explain to foreigners what was happening in Indonesia at that time. "Maybe here his language sounds like that of a broker, however, the language is easily understood by foreigners," he added.
Meanwhile, Kuskrido Ambardi, Ph.D., as the reviewer recognizes the role of Mochtar Lubis, particularly related to the history of political journalism in Indonesia. Kuskrido assessed that there are three social roles conducted by Mochtar Lubis at that time. First, he is a journalist, at that time Mochtar Lubis is also known as the chief editor of Indonesia Raya daily. Second, he is a public intellectual who is obsessed with the clean and dignified government. Third, he is a writer and humanist. "Although he belonged to the political elite in the midst of the elitist political character of Indonesia at the time, we still cannot ignore the role of Mochtar Lubis, particularly in the field of political journalism," said the Chairman of the Communication Sciences Graduate Program.
Kuskrido added that all the social roles that were conducted by Mochtar Lubis were very great because each of his writings was scrutinized by the elite and public. He left his mark, but when it was traced some parts are personal and cannot be inherited. The other parts are the long political trail. Related with journalism, Mochtar Lubis and Indonesia Raya did not leave a specific genre of journalism. However, what is left is the 'spirit' to be critical, become the opposition, and challenge the rulers.
At the same place, lecturer of UGM’s Department of Communication Sciences, Hermin Indah Wahyuni, Ph.D., says the book by David T. Hill is very useful to complement and enrich the press of the New Order period, completing the discourse of knowledge through the work on a similar theme, which (unfortunately) was limited in a foreign language. In the future, the mapping of this book will greatly assist the media and communications analysts to see the growth possibilities of the Indonesian press. "As a sort of post-script for this issue, the issue contextualizations of the Indonesian press during post-reform era will clearly undergo different dynamics. Let's say that the ideology of the Indonesian press is increasingly blurred, more rigorously competing with the television industry, increasingly worrying conspiracy between business and politics as well as convergence with new media," said Hermin.