With and Without ‘General’: The Representation of Wiranto in The Sydney Morning Herald during Indonesia’s 2004 General Election

  • Aylanda Hidayati Dwi-Nugroho English Department, Faculty of Letters, Petra Christian University, Surabaya
Keywords: Wiranto, media representation, news actor, honorification, Australian-Indonesia relations.

Abstract

This paper reports an analysis on the naming and title-giving practices of The Sydney Morning Herald toward General Wiranto in the news about Indonesia‟s 2004 General Election when he contested as a presidential candidate but failed. In the news data he was mostly related to the allegations of his responsibility as the Commander of Indonesia‟s armed forces for a number of atrocities committed by the Indonesian military and Jakarta-backed militias in East Timor. Honorification is one standard referencing in news. Its presence is believed to indicate respects, and its absence can be interpreted as either showing solidarity or less respect. However, Wiranto was negatively represented both when he was referred to with and without his military title. Such a representation suggests the newspaper‟s perception and stereotype it has had about Wiranto.

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