Talking Indonesia: reporting Covid-19

Many foreign media outlets have been highly critical of the Indonesian government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the Indonesian media, by contrast, seems far less inclined to question the government’s statistics and policy announcements. What explains this discrepancy in reporting? Are Indonesian journalists self-censoring because the space for dissent is shrinking in Indonesia? Are foreign journalists exaggerating the extent of the crisis?


In the latest episode of Talking Indonesia, Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these and other questions with Febriana Firdaus, an Indonesian freelance journalist based in Bali, and Max Walden, a reporter and producer with the ABC Asia Pacific Newsroom in Melbourne and a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne’s Asian Law Centre.


In 2020, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University and the Australia-Indonesia Centre, and Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Dhemas Reviyanto for Antara.


Dirk Tomsa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University.