AUDIO Q&A: Media in Indonesia’s presidential election

Smear campaigns in social media damaged Joko Widodo’s image in Indonesia’s presidential race. shutterstock

On July 9, Indonesia votes for a new president in a neck-and-neck race between former military general Prabowo Subianto and Jakarta governor Joko Widodo.

Backed by media moguls, Prabowo Subianto’s camp has managed to bump his electability rate. In just two months Joko Widodo lost his double-digits lead. Analysts now say the race is too close to call.

Professor Merlyna Lim says that partisan reporting by television stations has influenced undecided voters. Smear campaigns in social media have also damaged Joko Widodo’s image.

You can listen to Professor Merlyna Lim explain the media ownership and political affiliation landscape in Indonesia. She also explores the social media war between supporters and the creation of mobile apps by volunteers to prevent electoral fraud.