The framing of an Indonesian leader : The Jakarta Post and the Jakarta floods : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management in Communication Management at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
This thesis examines how The Jakarta Post frames Joko Widodo through the issue of annual Jakarta floods. Chapter Background describes the conditions of Jakarta through its socio-political situation, including the discussion of Jakarta annual floods. Here, this study presents the fact that Jakarta has a long history of flood recurrences, which means, that Jakarta is a flood-prone city.
This study gathers its sample (86 stories) from a one-year news coverage starting from the date that marked the beginning of the campaign for Governor of Jakarta in early March 2012 until the period that marked the end of the Jakarta floods (end of February 2013). The position of governor is important in Indonesia primarily because Indonesia had just implemented decentralisation in 2001, and the direct election of Jakarta governor was firstly implemented in 2007. Thus, Joko Widodo was the second Jakarta governor that won the direct election. In addition, Joko Widodo was a candidate from outside Jakarta, which means he had never experienced the Jakarta floods. However, this study finds that The Jakarta Post deliberately changed its way of reporting Jakarta flood issues after Joko Widodo won the 2012 Jakarta governor election.
Using content analysis, this study finds that although Joko Widodo had held office for only a couple of months when the Jakarta floods occurred, Joko Widodo was framed positively. Thirty six out of 86 stories assessed him positively, compared to 12 negative comments. In relation to the leadership characteristic, which is also one of the research questions in this study, the Chapter Findings outlines that most of the stories used in this research reflect Joko Widodo as a caring leader. Furthermore, in the Chapter Discussion, through the framing analysis that operationalises the sociological concept, this study argues that The Jakarta Post framed Joko Widodo positively by depoliticising the Jakarta flood issues. Finally, the Conclusion chapter outlines the need for the Indonesian media and/or journalists to apply the concept of critical thinking in their writings to contribute to the process of democratisation in Indonesia.