GSTF Journal on Media & Communications (JMC)

, 2:19

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Old Practice in a New Era: Rasa as the Basis of Self-Censorship in Kompas Daily Newspaper

  • WijayantoAffiliated withInstitute of Asian Studies, Leiden University


Rasa as an element of self-censorship has never been adequately discussed within the study of Indonesian media. This paper will show that for Kompas, the biggest national newspaper in Indonesia, rasa – a central element in Javanese value, has been the basis of their self-censorship. Whereas other media use “universal” standard journalism as a basis for news selection and news production, Kompas elaborates rasa in their day-to-day practice of news making process. While presenting how rasa has been brought into practice within Kompas newsroom in the recent times, this article also argues that this kind of journalism practice can be traced back to the authoritarian period of the New Order regime. This paper argues that even though rasa is a cultural entity, underlying its manifestation into practice is actually picturing the hidden political and economic interest of Kompas journalists as minority group in Indonesia. This study bridges the gap within Indonesian media theories, which separate the political economy factors and the cultural factors as the main forces influencing media operation.


rasa self-censorship the authoritarian regime democratization process