Konde’s Research: Media Performs Sensationalism and Does Not Consistently Report Sexual Violence Issues

Konde's research on the content of reporting on sexual violence issues in 3 national online media states that the media are inconsistent in reporting sexual violence issues from the perspective of justice for victims, apart from still using sensationalism in their diction or sentences.

In July 2020, the House of Representatives (DPR) officially revoked the sexual violence eradication bill (RUU PKS) from the list of priority bills in the 2020 national legislation program (Prolegnas). They argued that this regulation that provides recovery and protection for survivors of sexual violence is difficult to discuss. Whereas, data from the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) shows that there were 4,898 reports of sexual violence cases throughout 2019. The number of sexual violence for 12 years since 2007 increased by 792 percent or 8 times.

The Covid-19 pandemic was used as the reason for the DPR to withdraw this bill, but Legal Aid Foundation of Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (LBH APIK) noted that the rate of violence against women increased by 300 percent or three times the usual. Likewise with cyber-based gender violence (KBGO), according to Komnas Perempuan’s records, as of October 2020, there were 659 cases, an increase compared to the previous year which was only 281 cases.

Based on Law Number 40 of 1999 concerning the Press, it is written that the national press has a function as a medium of information, education, entertainment, and social control. In reporting the RUU PKS, the role of the press is important in influencing public dynamics.

For this reason, in the framework of 16 Days of Anti-Violence Against Women, Konde launched research “Media Reporting on the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence and How is the Consistency of the Media towards Reporting on Sexual Violence?”.

This research is a form of Konde’s commitment as a media that fights for women’s issues and marginalized groups so that the media in Indonesia can produce journalistic products with a survivor perspective.

This study was carried out in two stages by Konde researchers Tika Adriana, Osi NF, Luviana, Eko Bambang Subiantoro, namely data collection using quantitative methods and the second stage by analyzing the content of the news.

Tika Adriana, researcher and managing editor of Konde, stated that data collection was carried out using quantitative methods by identifying mass media reports. We recorded news related to the RUU PKS in three online media from July to August 2020.

“From the data collected, we categorize all the news and analyze the news using gender analysis.”

The three media were Okezone, Tribunnews, and Kompas.com because these media were in the top three of the Alexa rankings.

“Based on our research, the three media only write news of the type of hard news. In reporting on the RUU PKS, they urged that this bill should be ratified immediately. However, the news about the RUU PKS in the media is no more than 3% every month, with news that tends to be normative and has not provided education to the public about the importance of the RUU PKS,” said Tika Adriana.

The sources used in reporting the RUU PKS are not yet diverse and are dominated by the member of Indonesian House of Representatives, then the government, the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, and several state institutions such as Komnas Perempuan and The Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK). The media has not provided sufficient space for sexual violence companions or women’s activists to talk.

“When we look at the news about sexual violence, the media is good at reporting sexual violence against children from the perspective of child victims. However, the media still ignores women’s perspectives. This can be seen from the sensational diction and adds to the violence for the women victims.”

From this result, Konde.co sees that the media has not been consistent in presenting news about sexual violence from the perspective of justice for victims. This finding also proves that if there are events that are supervised by the public, such as through social media and institutions advocating sexual violence issues such as the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence, the news will be written positively (even though the number is only minimal and only limited to hard news and normative news). . However, if it is not monitored by the public like the issue of sexual violence in general, the media will still carry out violence and sensationalism on women who are victims of sexual violence. This is as written in sentences in the media such as “being fucked”, “the perpetrator has black magic”, “abducted”, “rotated”, etc.

“From this result, Konde sees that the media does not have an agenda for reporting on sexual violence. If there is an issue that is crowded in the public, then the media will write it down, but if it is not crowded or viral in the public, then the media will report badly.”

Based on the findings of this research, Konde asked the Press Council to be more sensitive to gender issues so that they can reprimand or take action against media that produce news that is not gender-sensitive, as well as create guidelines for writing sexual violence issues in media with a survivor perspective.

“In addition, we also encourage the media to have an agenda on reporting on sexual violence from a gender perspective and provide gender classes for journalists to have a variety of issues in covering the RUU PKS and around the issue of sexual violence so that the issues presented are not only based on viral events, with more diverse sources with a victim perspective.”

Konde also invites the public to be more critical of the news, so that if the public finds news that harms the victim, the public can use the right of reply mechanism and report to the Press Council as regulated in the Press Law.

In addition, for civil society organizations to increase discussions on the issue of sexual violence for journalists or the media so that the media and journalists get an overview of the diversity of reporting issues surrounding the RUU PKS or sexual violence in general.

The launching of this research event was carried out on December 10, 2020 and discussions with speakers included: Tika Adriana (Konde), Endah Lismartini (AJI Indonesia), Purnama Ayu Rizky (Remotivi), Agus Sudibyo (Press Council), Mariana Amiruddin (Komnas Perempuan) and moderator Nur Aini (journalist).

Poedjiati Tan

Psikolog, aktivis perempuan dan manager sosial media www.Konde.co. Pernah menjadi representative ILGA ASIA dan ILGA World Board. Penulis buku “Mengenal Perbedaan Orientasi Seksual Remaja Putri.”

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