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Mainstreaming climate change issues: Challenges for journalism education in Indonesia

Volume 23, Issue 1

July, 2017

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Wahyuni, H. (2017). Mainstreaming climate change issues: Challenges for journalism education in Indonesia. Pacific Journalism Review, 23(1), 80-95. doi:10.24135/pjr.v23i1.104
Author(s): Hermin Indah Wahyuni
Publication date: 
July, 2017

This article aims to explain the challenges of journalism education in Indonesia on the issue of mainstreaming climate change. As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia has to deal with some climate change impacts such as rising sea levels, extreme weather, floods, drought, and forest fires. Climate change is a real serious threat, but public awareness of this issue is low in Indonesia. Mass media have a capacity to mainstream climate change and increase public awareness. The data for this article has been collected through qualitative content analysis of newspaper articles, interviews with communication lecturers and scholars, and document reviews. Some of the important findings are: 1) The climate change issue in the Indonesian mass media is less popular than other issues such as corruption, elections, terrorism and refugees; 2) Journalism education in Indonesia does not contribute enough to mainstreaming climate change on mass media; 3) There are three levels of problem in macro, messo, and micro level of journalism education in Indonesia to mainstreaming climate change issue. At a micro level, the problem is related to the lack of lecturers with competence in climate change. On a messo level, journalism education has failed to connect with the problem of climate change through curricula. At a macro level, the problem is related to the popularity of journalism than other subjects in general socio-political environment.  Systemic theory by Niklas Luhmann was used as tool to analyse these problems. From this perspective, Indonesian journalism education as a system faces plenty of challenges to reduce the complexity of problems to optimise its role in mainstreaming climate change.