Reporting Megawati's bid for the Indonesian Presidency: framing and social reality

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Coghlan, J 2012, 'Reporting Megawati's bid for the Indonesian Presidency: framing and social reality', Communication, Politics & Culture, vol. 45, pp. 25-38.

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This paper examines the relationship between episodic framing and the construction and maintenance of social realities in English-language reporting about Indonesian politics during the nation’s transition to democracy in 1998 and 1999. It evaluates framing in terms of context and frequency across 478 Australian, American and British newspaper reports primarily about PDI-P (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) leader Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of former president Sukarno. How Megawati was framed in the English-language news media provides theoretical and empirical links between episodic framing and its function in shaping social realities. Findings indicate that an overreliance on episodic framing led to a lack of critical journalism in relation to Megawati’s agency and value to democratic Indonesia in the Post-Suharto period, and constructed influential narratives that privileged Megawati over her adversaries.

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