Category Archives: Contributor

Against domination, let’s build media communities

Written by Nursidah “Nida” Abdullah of Hasanuddin University, this article tries to view toward the extension of mass media in the future, by critical perspective from one of Mass Communication Theory; Cultural Imperialism Theory. Thanks, Nida!


Explanation of Theory:

Cultural Imperialism Theory states that Western nations dominate the media around the world which in return has a powerful effect on Third World Cultures by imposing n them Western views and therefore destroying their native cultures.

Theorists: Herb Schiller
Date: 1973
Primary Article:  Schiller, H. J. (1973). Communication and Cultural Domination. White Plains, NY: International Arts and Science

The long-term efforts of human to build their civilization and world history has created curves against humanity faces. Human, with an Anthropocentrism world of view has grown up superiorly than the other things in this world.

Not only like that, apparently they also have made hierarchy in social life interactions. Karl Marx says there are social classes in the society. His Assumption is based on capital resources of authority (HCR- NCR). They are bourgeois class and proletarian class. And , if you believe, there is no ahistorical side, ..of course..too easy to summarize that everything has their own history. Even, social constructions and one of them is imperialism. Absolutely.

Let me say ..this isn’t a silent story. But, on the other hand..some times we say like this.. ”yes, I see, the World Is built by imperialism, but I don’t have ability, nor is it right, to fight that because we don’t have a power…”

In my mind..that is absolutely wrong way. Not because of we are powerless, but hopeless. But, not all of us like that…Of Course.

Media theorist, James W. Carey said that “a ritual view of communication is directed not toward the extension of messages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time;not the act of imparting information but the representation of shared beliefs”

Media size up means take a look at history again. Therefore, using Cultural Imperialism Theory as perspective is still relevant today. And finally, talking about mass communication means talking about the power of media as medium in information distribution its self.

Media domination by Western nations has produced a media reality image, West is the Best. Mass Communication Theory above stritcs is destroying native cultures is the effects by this situation, if we are just silent… and let’s this condition become snowball either, without criticism retrospect.

Based on this thing, it is reasonable if our native cultures are going to abrade by outsider cultures penetration. From now on.. we can see that the Indonesian Program Television is far away from native cultures exploration, but on the other hand TV Station program today explore too much in metropolitan life style which are outlandish things for Indonesian people, specially for villagers and islanders.

An offer to solve this problem is making media community. Media Community is an alternative and independent media for people. This is kind of media which is built by a group of people who have common goal and social contract. And, it’s consist of radio, TV channel, magazine, newspaper,etc.

Gradually, I hope media communities become counter attack and counter culture against west media domination and alternative mass media for people in every place in Indonesia. So..our truly native culture can recognizable, not just for Indonesia generation, but people in worldwide.


Suratkabar di Padang Monoton

Saya di Padang melahap tiap hari semua harian yang terbit di Padang: Padang Ekspres, Haluan, Singgalang, dan Pos Metro Padang. Apa yang saya peroleh dari empat media itu? Tak lebih rasa jengkel!

Surat kabar yang terbit di Padang (terutama harian)–jika mau memperoleh informasi yang dalam dan berita yang tajam–jangan harap. Berita yang diturunkan tak lebih dari aktivitas pejabat semenjak dari gubernur sampai camat di Sumatra Barat.

Apa yang dapat kita petik–taruhlah, misalnya, selama Ramadan ini–semua harian yang terbit di Kota Padang menurunkan berita safari Ramadan para pejabat dan juga anggota dewan. Apa yang dapat kita ambil dari berita-berita yang sifatnya seremonial peresmian ini dan itu.

Kita tidak akan pernah menjumpai tulisan panjang yang bersifat invesigasi tentang masuknya gula ilegal ke Sumatra Barat, misalnya. Kita tak akan menemui tulisan mendalam yang konprehensif, misalnya, bagaimana strategi petani untuk dapat menembus pasarinternasional jika kelak tanaman kakao, yang kini sedang giat dikembangkan di petani Sumatra Barat, dua-tiga tahun ke depan petani kita memanennya.

Saya–terus terang–merasa prihatin jika kondisi suratkabar yang terbit di Sumatra Barat hanya berkutat sebagai corong pemerintah daerah. Kondisi demikian, dapat kita simak setiap hari.
Salam, Nasrul Azwar, Padang.