Panic at the ATM

On a weekend in August 26, many Indonesian banking customers could not use ATMs as the machines were out of service. This error was caused by a problem encountered by Telekomunikasi Indonesia’s (Telkom) Telkom 1 satellite, which was used by banks to support their ATM network.

ATM fingers

How did the conventional media cover this problem? Read More

Corporations need rethink amid Indonesian media closures

At least 33 magazines and tabloids closed since December

If there’s any doubt that disruption is at hand in the communications industry just look at the sheer number of closures of Indonesian media. At least 33 newspapers and magazines have closed down since December last year.

Even racy men's magazine Maxim had to shut down
Maxim no more – the racy men’s magazine stopped publishing in July

This raises interesting questions on how corporations can still reach their customers and other audiences that matter. After all, the news outlets they’ve relied on as a medium of communicating with their consumers is failing than a line of dominoes. Read More

Building and Maintaining Spokesperson Credibility

(For Indonesian, click here)

Mika Brzezinski, the host of MSNBC’s popular morning program ‘Morning Joe’, has announced earlier this week that Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to President Donald Trump, will be indefinitely blacklisted from appearing on their show due to her overall lack of credibility. Conway has been repeatedly giving statements at odds with the White House, which put her credibility in doubt.

Read More

Membangun dan Mempertahankan Kredibilitas Narasumber

(Untuk versi Bahasa Inggris, klik di sini)

“Morning Joe”, acara talkshow populer di MSNBC minggu ini melalui hostnya, Mika Brzezinski mengumumkan memasukkan Kellyanne Conway ke dalam daftar hitam dan tidak akan mengundang lagi penasihat utama Donald Trump tersebut ke dalam acaranya karena tidak kredibel. Conway berkali-kali memberikan pernyataan yang bertentangan dengan Gedung Putih, yang membuat kredibilitasnya diragukan. Read More

The explosive power of Jokowi’s jacket

2016_11_05_15418_1478314566-_large (For Indonesian version, click here) 

Jakarta ground to a halt when tens of thousands staged a protest demonstration outside the Presidential Palace last Friday. The protest was mostly peaceful but when the sun went down there were some sporadic incidents of violence, raising for some the specter of the riots of 1998.

All Friday, the day of the demonstration, Netizens were focused on the goings on at the demonstration but shortly after midnight after President Jokowi held a press conference about the demonstration, the focus shifted dramatically to an unlikely object. Jokowi’s jacket.

Throughout Friday, social media was filled with comments from users with hashtags such as #demo411, #demo4november, and #obrolanpendemo.

Twitter was full of praises for the demonstrators for conducting their protest in an orderly and peaceful manner. Some shared photographs of the ocean of protesters on Jalan MH Thamrin, Merdeka Square, the National Monument, and around the National Palace. Others posted photographs of volunteers carrying plastic bags for trash.

@poetrimutiara said he was, “grateful that #demo411 proceeded safely, peacefully and orderly even though most people thought they would be merely provocative or acting on behalf of political interests.”


@nihaqus wrote: “Greetings to my Muslim brothers who are joining the rally. Show the face of Islam that is peaceful, not the one that is full of curses and inflammatory words. # Demo411 ”


@fahrul_anams added: “Thank God Today’s demo was smooth and peaceful. A man is also seen carrying plastic garbage banks so that there is no littering.”


The amicable feeling about the demonstration turned tense after evening prayers when some of the demonstrators massed outside the entrance to the presidential palace and insisted on being let in. The police permit they had obtained had stipulated that they needed to disperse at 6 PM. Some protesters were detained by the security forces. This was followed by the shoving and throwing of water bottles at the police. The commotion increased when some police cars were torched.

Denied entry into the palace, some demonstrators moved toward the parliament building in Senayan via Jalan Sudirman. As a crowd massed there two riots broke out in Luar Batang and Penjaringan. There was a group of people who intercepted cars and looted a supermarket. But the police acted swiftly and the unrest was contained soon after without a chance of spreading.

@RadioElshinta reported: “LIVE NOW! Jakarta Military Commander, Major General Teddy Lhaksamana: Officers have pacified Luar Batang, it is now safe, don’t worry.”


In spite of this the rumors flew fast and furious that there was riots and looting had broken out elsewhere, worrying some Jakarta residents that they may see a repeat of the 1998 riots.

At this juncture Netizens introduced the #SafetyCheckJkt hashtag on Twitter, so that all users can inform each other which areas are safe and which not.

@Pandji wrote: “Monitor #safetycheckjkt to know the status of places in in Jakarta.”


In spite of this rumors kept flying and tensions escalated. Then, at midnight President Jokowi held a press conference that lasted five minutes.

Jokowi assured everyone that things were under control. He spoke about the demonstrations and the legal process that Ahok would have to undergo. He also urged all demonstrators that were still on the streets to return home.

What was the reaction on social media? Instead of commenting on the content of the speech, Netizens focused instead on the jacket worn by the president that night.

@deroswunga: “The conclusion from listening to @jokowi’s press conference: finding out the brand of the jacket worn by him.”


@kmingyyu asked, “what is the brand of Jokowi’s bomber jacket?”


@miund had an answer: “yes, it was Pull & Bear, people. chill. ”


@bangaip, however thought differently: “His bomber jacket was from Zara, I think.”


To settle this difference of opinion @amrazing had a japat (Indonesian for poll): “Okay. Let’s settle this with a poll: what brand was Jokowi’s jacket?”


The obsession with Jokowi’s jacket went up a notch when his son Kaesang (@kaesangp) wrote: “Anyone wants to know where to buy the jacket check out @ markobar1996 @MOMMILK_SOLO @CeKopi @Pastabuntel @Chilli_Pari @CakarDheer.”


This status was retweeted 276 times.

Why were Netizens so engrossed with Jokowi’s jacket?

@teguhwicaksono said: “Because people are tired of the same tired, negative information so any amusing distraction is welcomed.”


@devieriana wrote:”Because we are bored with violence and need a picnic.”


@thinpices “Tired of seeing those who use religion for political purposes.”


@amasna said: “because the situation needs some refreshing.”


@arundhatishint_ wrote, “because the jacket the President wore has been a hit among youths this past year.”


@DollySW Account states, “Because it made people curious. In the end I bought the jacket.”


The jacket conversations were a windfall for three Zara outlets in Pondok Indah Mall, Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia where their entire stocks of Jokowi bomber jackets were sold out. cwb1ratveaera6v

This priority of trivia over serious issues is an interesting reflection of how the young people in Indonesia think and react to politics and violence around them. Are they so jaded by the politicking that they need to seek other distractions? Or are they so shallow-minded that a garment takes precedence over important affairs of the State?


Photo: Antara and @bangaip



Did the Horse make a monkey out of SBY?


(For Indonesian version, click here)


It might be the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese cosmology but where Indonesians are concerned this might as well be the Year of the Horse.

Hot on the heels of the show of Equestrian Diplomacy by Jokowi and Prabowo on Monday, canters in a new horsey concept “Lebaran Kuda” (Literally, the holy day of Eid for Horses).

The phrase sent Netizens into hysterics and propelled Lebaran Kuda and Pak SBY into Trending Topics on Twitter all Wednesday.

The source of all this mirth came from a press conference held by Democratic party Head and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at his country home in Cikeas.

He told the media that the Government needed to listen to the aspirations of the people who would be demonstrating on November 4 to demand that Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama or Ahok, be legally prosecuted for disrespecting islam.

Yudyohono said that the huge demonstration must have a cause. If this is not accommodated there will be further demonstrations. “Probably this is because the protesters felt that their complaints haven’t been heard. If their complaints are not heard we will have demonstrations until the cows come home (Ok, this is tricky, the equivalent English phrase is “till the cows come home” but in Indonesian it is usually expressed in using another animal, the monkey as in Lebaran Monyet or the Eid of Monkeys).

Yudohono’s choice of animal, the horse as in Lebaran Kuda, reaped scorn and derision from Netizens. As far as Indonesians are concerned there are two official “eid” holidays Idulfitri and Iduladha. Colloquially Indonesians jokingly use the phrase “Lebaran Monyet” but no one says Lebaran Kuda.

“From before I know only of Lebaran Monyet. I’ve only known that there’s a Lebaran Kuda from SBY :000,” says X-catra


@annisanggaraa wrote: “Because Pak SBY owns a lebaran kuda yihaa


@buset1975 came up with a meme and wrote: “Wow! We are about to have a Lebaran Kuda.”


@digembok was more acidic: “Selamat Hari Raya Lebaran Kuda -dinasti cikeas #SBYPanik


Cynicism and derision that appeared most probably because the netizens felt that Yudhoyono’s statement was aimed at helping his eldest son,Harimurti Agus Yudhoyono (AHY) who is one of the candidates contesting the upcoming gubernatorial elections against Ahok.

According to several polls, Argus’s popularity is just below Ahok so if Ahok was taken out of the race through being found guilty of blasphemy, Agus’s electoral chances will be greatly enhanced.

Andika M Halimaking (@KeongKecill) observed: “Maybe SBY is afraid of his son losing and that’s why he came down the mountain :v. Still lacking 10 years #SBYsudahlah


Yudhoyono supporters and sympathisers, however, wasted no time telling Netizens not to be affected by jokes about Lebaran Kuda. SBY, they said, was only reminding law enforment officers

To process the allegations of blaspheny against Ahok. So he should not be bullied.

@antikonsultanpr wrote: “So now we have a scenario in which the government’s political consultants want to spin it so that SBY is blamed for Ahok’s prosecution. You guys are crazy…”


Idan Setyawan (@Bangsa2000) added: “There are forces that want to corner SBY after his eldest son makes progress in the gubernatorial elections. Looks like fear and panic has begun to spread.”


Others said that it can’t be denied that SBY’s statement has the potential of raising political tensions since he seemed to support the contention that Ahok is guilty of blasphemy and eligible to be sentenced. As a national figure and the head of a political party SBY would be better off adopting a neutral rather than provocative position regarding Ahok.

Such views were forwarded by people such as LIPI senior political analyst Syamsuddin Haris @sy_haris (4.800 followers): . “In a an atmosphere of heightening political tensions political and religious leaders should issue statements to calm people down, not provoke them”


All this raises important questions on the role of ex Presidents in an atmosphere of heightening political tensions surrounding the gubernatorial elections.

Was SBY right to speak up so that then law would be enforced? Was he doing it to increase the electoral chances of his son? Or did he step out of line and added to the problems rather than help solve them?

What do you think?


Political horseplay: The Equestrian Diplomacy of Jokowi and Prabowo


(For Indonesian version, click here)

We continue with an occassional series of posts on what’s happening in the Netizenry of Indonesia. In today’s post, Ndoro Kakung assesses the impact of Jokowi’s horse-riding diplomacy on the Netizens and their reaction toward the political horseplay.


Indonesia’s social media users were all abuzz when President Jokowi pranced into the homestead of Gerindra party chairman Prabowo Subianto in Bogor on Monday.

It was the second public meeting between the political rivals since their showdown during the presidential elections in 2014. This meeting of political elites propelled the word “Prabowo” into a Trending Topic on Twitter for most of the day. The responses were generally positive but some Netizens read much more into the meeting than others.

Both Jokowi and Prabowo supporters seemed pleased that the political opponents were able to rise above their rivalry and maintain cordial relations but Jokowi supporters also interpreted the move as evidence of the President’s political acumen.

@zie_ananta, for example, said: “Pak @jokowi @prabowo I like to see this photo (of Jokowi and Prabowo on horseback). I’m afraid to ride a horse, but I like the hats you wear.”


@Yosefen_A, “Jokowi’s passage to Hambalang is like a war general riding into the enemy’s camp. Testing the courage of the opponent’s commander. ”

Other Netizens said Indonesia is fortunate to have Jokowi and Prabowo as leaders because usually opposing political elites who’ve clashed with each other rarely patched up (silathurami) by visiting each other’s official residences. They named former Presidents Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Megawati as examples of leaders who could not come to friendly terms after the Chairman of the Democratic Party defeated the Chairman of the PDIP in the 2004 presidential elections.

From the perspective of political communications, Jokowi’s “safari” to Prabowo’s home seems to have paid off with Netizens looking at Jokowi as a politician not only given to political rhetoric but willing to take pains to nurture his relationship with a political opponent by visiting his house. This further reinforces Jokowi’s intended image as a Man of Action.

@ubegebe1 (13,000 followers) said: The javanese are playing “high context” politics. Jokowi meets Prabowo. This is folowed by SBY meeting Wiranto


What Jokowi’s gesture seems to have achieved is a lowering of tensions between Netizen supporters of the Jokowi and Prabowo camps, who have been polarized and at each other’s virtual throats since the 2014 elections.

Former Golkar official Indra J Piliang, @IdraJPiliang, for instance tweeted: “The horse-riding diplomacy conducted by Jokowi and Prabowo should cool the rising political temperature. Make a dialogue! ”


Supporters from both camps hailed both leaders as statesmen who prioiritzed the national interest over their own.

@ferrywar, an account belonging to architect Ferry Wardiman, proclaimed the event as, “One humble step by Jokowi met with statesman-like positivity by Prabowo, visible to everyone anyone outside the circle.”


@DheaMerlinda added: “We are proud of you General for being statesman-like. Although you’ve been betrayed you do not bear a grudge @Prabowo


Radio Most Medan broadcaster Arief Lubis (@arief_badil) praised Jokowi as a humble statesman who took time to pay a courtesy call to Prabowo


The positive reaction of the Netizens was probably influenced by media reports that carried stories and photographs portraying the meetings as relaxed, intimate and familial.

This was also the impression that the Presidential Staff (@KSPgoid ) wanted to convey as seen in its tweet, accompanied with a photo of both men on horseback: “The intimate atmosphere when President @jokowi visited with @prabowo at his residence, Koneng Bojong, Bogor #BertemuPrabowo”

Many social media users shared the Government’s tweeted photo of both men on horseback, giving credence to the belief that Jokowi’s team are masters at political communication, through use of gestures and images, all assisted by social media.


Photo: Kantor Staff Presiden