Future Generator: Media in Indonesia will turn negative for the next month

Future Generator: Media in Indonesia will turn negative for the next month
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The ‘Future Generator‘ is a highly unique and cutting-edge approach to forecasting ‘media sentiment’, developed by a partnership between Global Risk Insights (GRI) and Ethnographic Edge (EE). The aim of the forecast is to determine how media sentiment towards a country’s political environment might develop in the future. Considering the impact of media sentiment on trading and investments, our forecasts will give readers more time and context to maximize on market opportunities.

The methodology of ‘Future Generator’ can be found here.

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The EE signal suggests negative media sentiment towards Indonesia political climate

EE’s data analytics platform projects that media sentiment towards Indonesia will turn negative over the next month. Considering the strong correlation between media sentiment and political events, EE concludes that the Indonesian political environment will destabilize over the next month.

GRI assessment of the EE signal

News coverage of Indonesia will turn negative over the next month as domestic instability increases. Indonesia is already dealing with an increase in fake news, which is being utilized by anti-government Islamist groups to incite sectarian violence. The government has already been forced to issue public statements against these false stories, in the process condemning the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) for its destabilizing actions.

The Ahok trial

Another reason for negative news coverage over the next month will be the ongoing blasphemy trial of Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama. The Ahok trial was stirred up by fake news agitators and has dominated national headlines in 2016 and 2017. The prominent nature of the trial will only continue to spur pro- and anti-Ahok factions to further incite demonstrations and clashes, as well as throw a veil of uncertainty over Jakarta’s 2017 gubernatorial elections.

The Ahok trial is the poster child of rising Islamist sentiment in Indonesia, a trend spearheaded by the restive FPI, whose leader Rizieq Shibab was recently questioned by police. Shibab has threatened to report Megawati Soekarnoputri – the chairwoman of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) – for blasphemy. This is the latest episode in an ongoing row between the government and the FPI, with FPI protesters demanding that the National Chief of Police dismiss two high ranking officers.

The future

All this comes on the heels of a wave of foiled year-end terrorist attacks and arrests in 2016 that saw three killed and over 14 arrested, including two suicide bombers. The rising populist Islamist sentiment in Indonesia is targeting non-Muslims, ethnic Chinese, and the government, with foreign governments taking notice. The Chinese government has expressed its concerns, and Australia has issued a travel advisory for tourists. Increasing domestic instability will continue to generate negative news coverage for Indonesia over the next month, with stories regarding foreign investment and tourism as both sectors react to the mounting uncertainty.

The Indonesia expertise in this report was provided by Jeremy Luedi.

Jeremy is the Web Editor and frequent contributor at Global Risk Insights (GRI), and has worked for NGOs and political parties in Canada. Jeremy’s writing has been featured in Business Insider, Huffington Post, Nasdaq.com, The Japan Times, MSN Money, and Yahoo Finance. His work also has been quoted and recommended by Time Magazine, Politico, Transparency International, and Greenpeace, among others.

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