Haze, climate change, and media brand responsibility: how Republika calls for public action in saving the environment through smoggy photo journalism

B S Wijaya1,2,3, A S Eddyono1,2, D Kania1,2, A Kurnia1, and Suharyanti1

1 Department of Communication Science, Bakrie University, Jl. HR Rasuna Said, Kav. C-22, Kuningan, Jakarta 12920, Indonesia
2 Postgraduate Student of Media and Cultural Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Teknika Utara, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
3Corresponding author: bswijaya98@yahoo.com


Abstract. When the haze disaster struck several regions in Indonesia (especially Kalimantan and Sumatra) in 2015, various parties tried to get involved in saving the environment and preventing the effects of climate change. Republika Daily, as a leading media brand in Indonesia, showed its social responsibility through news photo of the smog that adorned its front page. By interviewing the editor-in-chief of Republika in-depth and searching for documents online, we identified the reasons why Republika concerned on the haze disaster as part of the impacts of climate change, why using smoggy photojournalism, and how Republika’s social responsibility regarding the environmental disaster arose. Pathetic facts in the field related to the natural conditions, victims of local communities who had suffered the health problems, and economic losses caused by the haze disaster prompted Republika to not only call-for-public-awareness but also call-for-public-action in overcoming the problems and helping the victims. Therefore Republika used smoggy photojournalism to make the public ‘feel’ the conditions on the ground. This research can inspire other media to participate in saving the environment and increasing climate change awareness through creative and impactful ways.

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