Communism Issues in Kompas Daily, Transformation from the Old Order to the New Order Era

Abie Besman, Dadang Rahmat Hidayat, Atwar Bajari, Alois Moosmüller


The editorials of large national mass media naturally become a part of the history of political power transitions. Such is the case for Kompas Daily, one of the oldest mass media in Indonesia. Despite being banned nationally since 1966, communism is still a topic of discussion within media editorials. This research aims to present new evidence of the role of journalism in raising the issue of communism in the mass media during the regime transition from the Old Order to the New Order in Indonesia. This research uses the historiography method with a constructivist approach and found Kompas Daily editorial dynamics in responding to the issue of communism that occurred during the regime transition. The authors used data collected from the mass media, research studies, publications, online technology, interviews, and academic literature related to the communism issue in the Kompas Daily media practice, supported by a check-list for the classification of research materials, map of writing, and format of research notes. The study results show that when dealing with power, Kompas Daily practices swing journalism that adapts to developing situations and conditions. Swing media allows Kompas Daily to create a position that lets them maintain journalistic independence while remaining politically secure in accommodating the ruling regime.


Keywords: Kompas Daily, communism, old order, new order, swing media.

Full Text:



ARGENTI G., and SRI ISTININGDIAS D. Soekarno's Political Thoughts about Guided Democracy. Indonesian Politico Journal, 2017, 2(2): 14-27.

ARIF A. The Practice of Self-censorship in Kompas Daily in Discourse on Religious Tolerance. Indonesian Society, 2017, 43(2): 163-182.

ARIFIN S., UTARI P., and HASTJARJO S. Communication Style in Media Struggle, Misbach Communication Style in Early 20th Century. International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding, 2019, 6(5): 60-73.

BERGER P., and LUCKMANN T. The Social Construction of Reality. Open Road Media, New York, 2016.

DAMM M. Crocodile Hole, Cemetery of Heroes: Abjections in the Historiography of Events October 1, 1965. Indonesian Anthropology, 2017, 38(2): 105-124.

DENZIN N.K., and LINCOLN Y.S. Handbook of Qualitative Research. Student Library, Yogyakarta, 2009.

DHAKIDAE D. The Rise of Capital and the Fall of Political Journalism: Political Economy of Indonesian News Industry. Cornell University, 1991.

ERLINA T. The Role of Indonesian Student Action Units and Indonesian Student Action Units in the National Leadership Transition Process 1965-1968. Journal of Education Forum, 2020, 7(2): 95-102.

FARRAM S. Like that! Indonesian Popular Songs from the Confrontation Era, 1963-1966. Contributions to Language, Land and Ethnology, 2014, 170(1): 1-24.

GARRAGHAN G.J. A Guide to Historical Method. Greenwood Press, New York, 1974.

HALBWACHS M. On Collective Memory (COSER L.A., ed.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1992.

HALL S., EVANS J., and NIXON S. (eds.). Representation. Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. 2nd ed. SAGE Publications, London, 2013.

HERYANTO A. Where Communism Never Dies: Violence, Trauma and Narration in The Last Cold War Capitalist Authoritarian State. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 1999, 2(2): 147-177.

HERYANTO A. Identity and Enjoyment; Indonesian Screen Culture Politics. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta, 2015.

JESSON J., MATHESON L., and LACEY F.M. Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional and Systematic Techniques. SAGE Publications, Los Angeles, 2011.

KAKIAILATU T. Media in Indonesia: Forum for Political Change and Critical Assessment. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 2007, 48(1): 60-71.

KERAF G. Argumentation and Narration. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta, 2004.

LIDDLE R.W. Soeharto’s Indonesia: Personal Rule and Political Institutions. Pacific Affairs, 2006, 58(1): 68.

MCQUAIL D., and DEUZE M. McQuail’s Media and Mass Communication Theory. 7th ed. SAGE Publications, Amsterdam, 2020.’s-media-and-mass-communication-theory/book243524

MCVEY R.T. The Rise of Indonesian Communism. 2nd ed. Bamboo Community, Jakarta, 2017.

NAIR D. Spooks, Goons, ‘Intellectuals’: The Military-Catholic Network in the Cold War Diplomacy of Suharto’s Indonesia. History and Anthropology, 2021, 33(3): 372-390.

NUGRAHA M.S., and RICKLEFS M.C. History of Modern Indonesia 1200-2008. Veranda of Universal Science, Jakarta, 2008.

ROBINSON G. “Down to the Very Roots”: The Indonesian Army’s Role in the Mass Killings of 1965-66. Journal of Genocide Research, 2017, 19(4): 465-486.

ROOSA J. Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto's Coup. Hasta Partners, Jakarta, 2008.

SAID S. Genesis of Power: General Sudirman and the Indonesian Military in Politics. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 1991.

SAID S. The Gestapo 65. Mizan Publishing, Bandung, 2018.

SEDA F. Along memory. Kompas Daily, July 4-5, 1990.

SOEKARNO. Under the Flag of the Revolution. Volume I and II. 2nd ed. Bung Karno Foundation and Pressindo Media Publisher, Jakarta, 2019.

SUGIYAMA A. Remembering and Forgetting Indonesia’s Madiun Affair: Personal Narratives, Political Transitions, and Historiography, 1948-2008. Indonesia, 2011, (92): 19-41.

TARLING N. The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1999.

WIDJAJANTO A. The Evolution of Indonesian Defense Doctrine. Prisma, 2010, 29(1): 3-20.

WOODWARD M. Only Now Can We Speak: Remembering Politicide in Yogyakarta. SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 2011, 26(11): 36-57.

YAPI TAUM Y. Collective Indonesian Memories of the 1965 Tragedy during New Order Regime. In: SARWOTO P., MULYANI S., SASMITA AJI G.F., FITRIATI A., and SETIAJID H.H. (eds.). The 3rd Literary Studies Conference "The 1965 Coup in Indonesia: Questions of Representation 50 Years Later." 2015: 168-178.


  • There are currently no refbacks.