Televising Locality: Industrial, historical and socio-cultural investigations of local television in post-authoritarian Indonesia

B. Hendrawan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)


In the first decade of the 21st century Indonesian television underwent drastic transformations as part of the broader socio-political changes following the fall of the New Order regime of President Suharto in 1998. As part of the reforms, Indonesia implemented regional autonomy, devolving powers from the central to sub-provincial governments. The process has turned the country from one of the most centralised states in the world into one of the highly decentralised. In contrast to the authoritarian New Order era when the central state government implemented a uniform top down policy at all levels of government administration, post-New Order Indonesia has seen the rise of the local, characterised by greater regional control over political and economic affairs. This has led to new social, political and cultural dynamics at the sub-national level. As the nation searches for a new post-authoritarian identity by transforming its political systems into a democracy, television is inextricably embedded in the process. The dissertation investigates one important aspect of such transformations, namely the rise of TV lokal (local television).
Since the turn of the millennium the Indonesian television landscape has transformed rapidly from a centralised system, consisting of predominately national broadcasters into a more decentralised television structure with hundreds of new stations operating at a local level, broadcasting for a limited service area. The study set out to explore the rise of TV lokal by investigating its first decade of development (2002-2012). It aims to identify local television’s specific role in the construction of locality in post-New Order Indonesia. What are the underlying factors that shape such a role, and in what forms and through which mechanisms does local television contribute to the process?
The analysis focuses on institutional developments, emphasising the industrial dimension of television. It is based on fieldwork that was carried out in several locations, including Yogyakarta and Solo in Central Java, Denpasar in Bali and Manado in North Sulawesi. Four sample stations were used as case studies namely Bali TV, Jogja TV, TATV and Pacific TV. By combining both macro and micro analyses the dissertation identifies factors that underpinned local television development (Chapter 1 and 2), scrutinises its characteristics and modes of operations (Chapter 3-5) and investigates its specific roles in the socio-cultural transformations at the local level (Chapter 6 and 7). It employs a critical media industry approach to examine different aspects of local television industry, including both its extrinsic (public discourse in Chapter 1, regulations in Chapter 2) and intrinsic elements (ownership in chapter 3, economic practices in Chapter 4, programming and production practices in Chapter 5-7). The interplay between these elements is examined from a historical perspective, situating the analysis within specific historical contexts that have shaped the development of local television at both local as well as national levels.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Uricchio, William, Primary supervisor
  • Arps, B., Supervisor, External person
  • Müller, Eggo, Supervisor
Award date20 Nov 2015
Print ISBNs978-94-6299-196-5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2015


  • Television
  • Indonesia
  • locality
  • regulation
  • programming
  • production
  • news
  • identity
  • broadcasting
  • economy


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