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The challenges of journalists in facing the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic
Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences -- formerly Kasetsart Journal (Social Sciences), Volume 043, Issue 2, April 2022- June 2022, Pages 441-446
ISSN: 2452-3151(0125-8370)
DOI: doi.org/10.34044/j.kjss.2022.43.2.23
Anang Sujokoa,*
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aCommunication Department, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Brawijaya, Veteran St, Jawa Timur 65145, Indonesia
*Corresponding author, e-mail: anangsujoko@ub.ac.id
Abstract
Media performance in providing information, educating people and conducting social control of the change process is influenced by various factors including external factors. The new normal condition of the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the work patterns of journalists. Recently, the press in Indonesia has encountered such a dilemma because the policies and information from the government have shown various inconsistencies and errors. This study illustrates the problems and challenges faced by journalists during the new normal conditions. This study adopted a qualitative descriptive approach with in depth interviews and focus group discussion techniques with journalists in Malang Raya, Indonesia. The results showed that journalists have encountered internal and external challenges during the pandemic. Internal challenges were related to editorial policy that determines the point of view of news and work pattern policy during the pandemic. For safety reasons, the editor prohibited journalists from covering directly in the field. The establishment of a news point of view puts pressure on journalists in carrying out their profession. External challenges come from the government and the Task Force related to information disclosure, the crisis of civility from public officials during the pandemic and inconsistencies in law enforcement for violations of health protocols. Finally, this research suggests five recommendations to strengthen the press’s role during the pandemic. They consist of the role of mainstream mass media against hoaxes, editorial policies putting forward health perspectives, packaging news simply and straightforwardly, collaboration between mass media agencies and demanding information disclosure from the government and the COVID-19 Task Force.
Keywords
COVID-19, Indonesian government, journalists, mass media, new normal
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