Papua and the public: News framing of the 2019 Asrama Papua conflict
The 2019 Asrama Papua conflict in Surabaya initiated many discourses on racial discrimination and police brutality towards Papuan students in Indonesia. The question arises as to how the public perceive news framing and its effects on public opinion. This question will be answered by examining reports in the newspapers Kompas (published in Jakarta) and Jubi (Jayapura, Papua) which display quite different thematic and rhetorical structures. As secondary research, this article aims to assess the public opinion on the framing of the incident based on Berger and Luckmann’s Social Construction of Reality. Through qualitative focus group discussion, this study examines people’s perceptions of news media framing and its effect on the shaping of public opinion towards an ethnic minority group. The results show that media framing reinforces a certain idea of public opinion towards minority groups through various factors such as Perspective of Reporting and Depth of Reporting, both of which differ in Kompas and Jubi as a result of differences in their audiences. Differences were also found in such factors as the thematic structure between lens of sympathy and lens of antagonism. Ultimately, this research suggests that the public possess an awareness of news framing, thus giving them the capability to construct their own critical viewpoints towards media and the incident.
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