Media Q&A – PanaJournal, Indonesia
Media Q&A is a series of interviews with media insiders about big shifts that currently reshaping their industry, so that PR and marketing people can better understand and engage them.
Her stint in the local edition of Fortune magazine earned her the 2011 Anugerah Adiwarta, one the prestigious journalism award in Indonesia. But when she isn’t drafting articles, Andina Dwifatma devotes her times to looking closely at today’s ever-changing media landscape.
She’s passionately curious about the powerful force of new media which disrupting journalism. In fact, she cofounded PanaJournal last year as a way to reveal her take on the digital media. The blog features long-form contents and human interest stories. (A disclaimer: The writer of this post is also one of PanaJournal co-founder.)
I caught up with Andina to ask her about how the traditional news outlet intersects with social media, and what drives this trend. Our conversation, lightly edited, below:
Q: The traditional media landscape has drastically changed, and we’re witnessing the flood of social media. Is technology driving these trends?
A: For the media shifts, technology isn’t everything—at least in Indonesia. I teach communication studies at Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, and we discussed about this too. Though we’ve seen big pickups of internet users, internet connection in Indonesia lags far behind its regional peers. Our internet speed is still roughly around 2.4 Mbps. Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand get way better speed, over 3 or even 5 Mbps.
So the rise of social media in Indonesia is really about the way people consume information. They now use social media as the new source of information. For all we know, traditional media no longer serves as the primary outlet for news and information. Part of that shift has to do with a culture of instant communication. People shares content over social network because they want to be among the first to know, and the first to inform or to break on the “news”. Share first, verify later.
Q: So, news outlet couldn’t keep up?
A: Interestingly enough, news outlets get dragged down by these trends. They’re sourcing their news items from social media. We’re seeing journalists exclusively write a news article based on a tweet or Facebook status of celebrities or politicians. In addition, tv stations broadcast video from YouTube as news items. This is now part of newsroom routine. News media just couldn’t differentiate itself from social media. They’re leaving the so-called journalism creeds far behind.
Q: What does this mean for business or brands?
A: It could be a double-edged sword. If brands or companies want to capitalize on this trend, they must do it effectively, with well-spoken campaign. Just recently, a photo went viral about a consumer who allegedly received a bar of soap from a big e-commerce company, instead of a smartphone he had previously ordered. Suddenly everyone woke up to it. Lots of news websites picked up the story which first broke on Twitter.
But not long after that, people discovered that the incident was perpetrated by the rival company. It was only a part of the e-commerce wars—one of the fastest-growing sector in Indonesia. ***
Visit PanaJournal at www.panajournal.com for further reading.
Patrick Hutapea is the Audience Development Executive in Indonesia for PR Newswire.