When Intolerance is Hidden Imagined Tolerant Society as Framed in Two Local Newspapers in Indonesia

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Mateus Yumarnamto
Anastasia Yuni Widyaningrum
Vincentius Luluk Prijambodo


This study focuses on the discourse of tolerance and intolerance as represented in two local newspapers in Indonesia, Surya and Bali Post. The two media were selected because of their localities and their unique audience. Both were situated in tolerant areas in Indonesia, East Java and Bali. The audience was of two different communities, East Javanese, who are mostly moderate Moslems, and Balinese, who are mostly Hindus. The guiding questions for this research were: (1) how did the media frame the issues of tolerance and intolerance in their news reports in February 2018? (2) What imagined communities were claimed as reflected in the news reports? To answer the questions, eight articles related to the issues of tolerance and intolerance were selected purposefully, with four articles taken from each. The analysis was conducted in two stages: (1) framing analysis (Entman, 1993, 2007) and (2) content analysis by looking at imagined communities (Anderson, 2006). The results indicate that the news reports supported the idea of peace journalism to mitigate potential conflicts. This supports the government’s agenda for Indonesian society to maintain peace and harmony but it might have also hidden the underlying intolerance in the two localities.

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Author Biographies

Anastasia Yuni Widyaningrum, Widya Mandala Surabaya Catholic University

The author is an associate professor at the Faculty of Communication, Widya Mandala Surabaya Catholic University, Indonesia. Her research interests are in mass media and media discourse.

Vincentius Luluk Prijambodo

The author is an associate professor at the English Department, Widya Mandala Surabaya Catholic University, Indonesia. His research interests are in discourse, communication, and language education.


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