Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Internet and Indonesian Election

It was Sunday evening of September 26th in D.C. or early morning of September 27th in Indonesia when I showed up as a special guest of Voice of America Journal (Jurnal VoA) program. The program is broadcasted from VoA in DC to Indonesian audience via MetroTV and led by Patsy Widakuswara.

Dealing with the topic that I am very familiar with made me free from tension or nerve in that interview and Q&A. Compared to some interviews I had with Radio, actually this one was less nervous.

So, what I was talking about? Well, not sure if you all want to read about it.. Not much I could tell in a short interview but in brief I was telling Patsy and the audience that the Internet does have a role in the context of Election. It has several functions: it serves as a media for providing information and knowledge about the Election, it also serves as a 'space' for election related discussion, it provides space for campaign, and lastly it also helps to update people with the result of election in a real-time basis and in a more transparent way.

Of course, the Internet, just like any other technology, is a double edged sword. You cannot guarantee the credibility of the Internet. News, information, and other stuff coming from the Internet can be false and irresponsible as well as acurate and responsible. However, rather than being skeptical about the role of this technology, I would rather try to embrace this technology and explore its positive potential in its fullness. There's never wrong with that.

Regarding much of skepticism about the influence of the Internet in Indonesian society -- as stated by one audience -- mainly because the technology is elitist and only reaches 5% of population therefore some assume that this technology cannot have any influence, I argue that there are direct and indirect influence. Of course there are only Internet users -- which is nly 5% of population -- who are impacted by direct influence, but the Internet is not isolated from other media and networks. The Internet is located within intermodality that connects it to other media. Information on the Internet frequently becomes inspirations for writers, journalists, political leaders and even religious leaders to influence and even provoke others (society at large). Recently it's a public secret that journalists are mostly doing 'quick field investigation' using search engine and observing mailing lists to get their stories rather than going directly to the field. So, here is the indirect influence of the internet.... it really exists and it does matter.

Ok, before I sounds defensive, I better stop here.
Some of my friends complained that they couldn't see me because I didn't tell anybody about my being on TV (except of my parents in Bandung).. and I told them that I will try to post the digital recording of this interview. I cannot promise .... but somehow I'll do it. Ok, just watch out my blog then, ok?


Patsy Widakuswara said...

nama gue salah tulis!

merlyna lim said...

wah..maaf bos!..sengaja..eh.. ngga sengaja.
udah dibenerin tuh...:)

Patsy Widakuswara said...

makasih :) jgn salah lagi ya :P