The Influence of Mass Media Information on People of Silawan Village in the Republic of Indonesia and Timor Leste Border

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Eduardus Dosi


This paper addresses the extent information from television has an impact on communities living at the Indonesia-Timor Leste borders and what kind of additional information they need. In conducting this research, I chose the residents of Silawan Village as a locus for my research inquiry. I selected Silawan Village as a representative sample because the local people demonstrate characteristics and conditions common among border communities.  In order to answer research questions regarding televised media, I facilitated content analysis of media messages commonly aired on television in Silawan Village and juxtaposed these messages with the location-specific aspirations of local subjects. For the second part of my analysis, I used descriptive qualitative methods. Research results demonstrate that the types of information produced by both state-owned and private televisions as well as by newspapers have both positive and negative effects on my research subjects. Positive impacts are indicated by some worldly knowledge and skills among locals who commonly watch television. On the other hand, information distributed via television also generates problems, particularly behavioral ones, as the villagers become increasingly oriented towards consumptive impulses induced by advertisements. Additionally, television makes children more fearful from watching soap operas containing horror scenes, youths tend to get involved in street fights to imitate martial arts visualized on TV, and the general population fosters its inclination toward dangdut songs rather than traditional music conserving local solidarity. Private media supported by huge capital is proven to be more profit-oriented rather than considerate of the benefits of the users. The media being broadcasted or circulated hardly incorporate local content, and so hardly work for their benefit. Problematically, people at the borders expect the information publicized by local television, radio and newspaper to respond to local needs. Unfortunately, the large majority of these needs go unrepresented in common media. Consequently, collaborations must take place among stakeholders who distribute media on the state borders. Local problems related to agricultural technologies, animal husbandry, the salt industry, as well as education must be voiced to the public for resolutions for the common good and prosperity of local people. Meetings between local and media stakeholders can help media agencies devise strategies to voice relevant local concerns, avoid creating content confusion among viewers/listeners, and pave the way or harmonious coexistence among different peoples at the Indonesia-Timor Leste borders.


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