Mass Media Fragmentation and Narratives of Violent Action in Sulawesi's Poso Conflict
Aragon, Lorraine V.
Knowledge bases and media coverage of post-Suharto collective violence were transformed unevenly by the 1999 withdrawal of censorship and the arrival of new digital technologies. This article focuses on how individuals and groups involved in the Poso, Sulawesi conflict were framed differentially over time by market and non-market based media. Examples are drawn from selected national newspapers, provincial newspapers, religious niche media, internet postings, banners, and graffiti. Although mainstream media generally present explanations that localize and minimize violent events as “pure criminality,” Muslim and Christian niche media that reach local to transnational audiences increasingly invoke national or global religious conspiracies. Both usually draw upon similar sources and theatrical narratives about inchoate “masses” and malevolent “masterminds.”
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Page range: 1-55
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program