Pandemic in the complexity of the Digital Era: How online media in Indonesia construct the reality of COVID-19

  • Hermin Indah Wahyuni Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Andi Awaluddin Fitrah Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Keywords: communication, content analysis, COVID-19, digital era, health journalism, Indonesia, online media, public health, qualitative research, risk communication


This article aims to examine the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic constructed by online media outlets in Indonesia as one of the primary sources of information during the crisis. It uses qualitative content analysis to determine how online media in Indonesia construct the reality of COVID-19. The country’s eight most accessed online media websites are the objects of this study with a three-unit analysis: context, message and tone. The result shows that Indonesian media coverage has predominantly emphasised the pandemic’s political context over the health and economic context. Informants have predominantly been politicians; epidemiologists and scientists have been given little space. In this case, the media system in Indonesia through online news media were not able to play an optimal role in the early phases of the pandemic due to the tendency of this news construction.


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Author Biographies

Hermin Indah Wahyuni, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Professor of Communicaton
Director, Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies (CESASS)
Gadjah Mada University

Andi Awaluddin Fitrah, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Center for Southeast Asia Social Studies
Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia


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How to Cite
Wahyuni, H. I., & Fitrah, A. A. (2022). Pandemic in the complexity of the Digital Era: How online media in Indonesia construct the reality of COVID-19. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 28(1 & 2), 84-103.