The development of technology with the existence of new media seems to force people to make adjustments in fulfilling life needs, thus affecting the social and economic factors of society. Technology supported by the acceleration of information and fashion has an impact on life patterns resulting in changes in the fulfillment of life’s needs. Today, technology is one of the topics that has high appeal because there are indications of a shift or change in the characteristics of communication in society. The technology provided in the form of mass media, in this case the internet as a medium and accompanied by the development of devices that make it easy to access diverse content specifically based on interests, shared directly, and free to present the latest situation news.
Mass media has an important role in educating the nation’s life and is expected to be able to change the lifestyle of a consumptive society into a logical society. Mass media is envisioned as a public space to convey ideas, thoughts freely so that it becomes public opinion itself. The existence of the media provides a sense of dilemma between the public interest and the business interests of a group of people, because the reality of an unqualified public space cannot be denied. The domination of the public sphere is the existence of a deliberately ordered and filled with the interests of media owners, financiers, politicians, and advertisers.
According to research by social media management platform HootSuite and marketing agency We Are Social, Indonesians who have connected to the internet in 2020 amounted to 64% of the population. The average internet user in Indonesia is in the age range of 16 to 64 years old. Based on usage time, Indonesia ranks 8th as a country addicted to the internet.
The phenomenon of presenting information is only to fulfill the issue of growing market trends in order to compete with other business and media competitors. Quality content that is educative is very rarely found in Indonesian mass media, the content provided is nothing but contention, intrigue, gimik, hoaxes become a contrasting color in the development of media that presents news with one-sided, not objective and exploitation of one party that leads to good or bad.
A democratic country should be able to provide public space as a mass communication tool for the community to realize their citizenship rights including correct information, freedom of opinion, movement and thought. However, the phenomenon that occurs is that these spaces are already crowded by viral and existing-based programs (ratings) by ignoring moral and ethical messages that apply in society. The depiction of a clearly visible mass media case, namely at a political party, clearly displays the differences in the quick count contained in television, print media and survey institutions. Based on this, it can be assessed that there is a violation of the journalistic code of ethics which is clearly supported by the company. The press as a presenter of information cannot be separated from the intrigue and drama of interests outside of its ideals, but its demands for independence from the public or pressure by business interests that need to be questioned.
This will easily make the lifestyle of a consumptive society, not a society of quality information. This is because citizens are seen as consumers who need trendy information that can improve the ratings of the parties concerned. The character of the media has changed, but its role and function to reflect the condition of society and public mediation must remain inherent even though regulatory policies have not been able to accompany business growth in the media.
The journey of the latest media developments affects the character of mass communication, which becomes active and critical. New media, in this case digitasilation, has provided an open public space for active citizen involvement with predetermined ideal boundaries. However, media policies that have not been able to regulate the media industry, especially the products presented today are more directed towards commercial value and very minimal educational value. Based on this, in asking the government to formulate policies, it is necessary to realize that there are potential threats from the government itself, because often the policy-making process becomes a battleground for interested groups to influence policies.
Based on the above problems, in this case the proof of an active and critical attitude of citizens is required to take a more active role in ensuring and exercising their rights to the media, in accessing infrastructure, accessing content, and the media policy-making process. Meanwhile, policy makers also need to sharpen their perspectives on media management and combine aspects of media usability. The media should strive to stand on its own without pressure or intervention from interested parties.