TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Candidates for the 2019 presidential election, Joko `Jokowi` Widodo and Ma`ruf Amin is set to be endorsed by yet another mass media owner with entrepreneur Erick Thohir. He also has been appointed to be the pair`s presidential campaign team leader.
However, according to Syarif Hidayatullah State-Islamic University political observer, Pangi Syarwi Chaniago, mass media’s support towards Jokowi-Ma’ruf will not guarantee that the pair will go unhindered in the election.
“Jokowi needs to be cautious despite being backed by media moguls because it is not the deciding factor for his win,” said Voxpol Center Executive Director as Tempo reached him today.
According to Pangi, there is a possibility that the outcome of the 2019 election will mirror United States’ 2016 presidential election that saw Donald Trump elected for president despite being less popular in the mainstream media compared to his rival Hillary Clinton.
Pangi argues that Jokowi’s rival, Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno, could cook up a surprise and end up winning the election, as in Trump’s case had fully utilized the social media platform.
“Mind you, social media has its own buzzer, its own headlines, trends, and trending topics,” Pangi argued.
He elaborates that mass media is indeed a potent tool to drive the public opinion, especially among the lower class segment. However, the middle and upper class will not easily be affected by ‘image building’ broadcasted in conventional media.
Other than Erick Thohir, Jokowi-Ma’ruf is currently backed by several Indonesian media moguls such as Hary Tanoesoedibjo, owner of MNC Group, and Surya Paloh, leader of Media Group.
AHMAD FAIZ IBNU SANI