YOGYAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – Wenseslaus Manggut, the Chairperson of the Indonesian Cyber Media Association (AMSI), at the 2019 PERHUMAS National Convention explained a number of challenges faced by the media.
The new media ecosystem in Indonesia now is heavily influenced by tech companies. Tech companies become the key intermediaries between the media that distribute their contents through the internet and audience. A survey result shows that nowadays there is only 20 to 30 percent of people who are looking for news directly from the media’s official website. 70 percent of people prefer to look for news topic keywords in search engines such as Google.
The change of landscape forced the media to follow the workings of tech companies in order to keep getting readers. All media are competing to be ranked first or at least on the first page of search results in search engines. To support the raise of the ranking, the media relies on search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO has some criteria that must be met, such as the use and quantity of certain keywords in the news. These criteria affect the way journalists think and often make the composition of the news incoherent. The search engine and social media algorithm also add to the rise of hoaxes and clickbait, because hoaxes and clickbait have a bigger potential for news to become viral and bring in more ads. This phenomenon makes the media that contains quality content becomes unpopular, such as local wisdom that has difficulties in getting the attention of the audience and advertisers.
The Role of Public Relations
In order to amplify the local wisdom optimally, the media cannot work alone. Media needs support from the public, private sector, and the government to continue to exist and consistent in creating content that promotes the local wisdom.
Wenseslaus suggested that PR plays its role in convincing the stakeholders to not advertise on sites that are only chasing for numbers but are no quality and cannot be trusted.
Agus Sudibyo, Chairperson of the Commission on Inter-Institutional Relations and Foreign Affairs of the Indonesian Press Council, agreed. According to Agus, advertisers should consider the placement of their ads in the media. Don't just look at the scale, but also the quality and trust. "Readers and advertisers who prioritize quality media and content will support the ecosystem to build newsrooms that are also consistent with positive content," he said firmly. (den)