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The Real Winner of Indonesia’s Presidential Election 2014: Online News Portal

Rifki Aria Nugraha - 9 October 2014

It is undeniable that the latest Indonesia’s presidential election was a big hit, not only in the real life, but also in the digital scene. So far, the only event in which a political issue can match the popularity of the election in the digital scene of Indonesia was when Barack Obama nominated himself as the candidate of U.S. President.

That being said, it does make sense to see local news portals getting the best out of the condition. Various forms of black campaign, which was quite frequent, has were amplified by these portals in order to reach more readers. Considering that the number of internet users in Indonesia is quite majestic, around 80 million in total, both parties competing in the election had pushed their publication on internet to their limit.

This condition is confirmed by a calculation done by SimilarWeb, which found out that popular news portals like Detik, Kompas, and Okezone enjoyed a significant leap of traffic during the election period. Interestingly, those giants were not the only one to profit from the event. There were also smaller news portals which enjoyed the same privileges by advertising aggressively via Facebook and Twitter and putting captivating headers to attract more readers.

If you think that those ‘new’ players were there merely as a tool for the campaign, you might get it all wrong. Until today, those portals are still exist. They keep rolling out controversial headers, some tend to sell sexuality in order to attract more readers, though it’s not all about politics any longer.

Just take a look at Suara.com, one of those newbies with impressive track record (it has successfully beaten prominent media, e.g Tempo, Republika, MetroTVnews, Inilah, Antara, and Bisnis.com). Even though it’s still ‘buying’ the traffic at the moment, it’s not impossible to see it standing equally to Detik or even Kompas in the future.

One thing for sure, the latest presidential election has proved that Indonesia is a highly flourishing place for digital media companies to look up to. That’s why we predict that the power of online news portal will once again triumph in the next presidential election in 2019. There are countless of media experts who think that these news portals have the ability to significantly shape the public’s opinion.

I myself won’t be surprised to find more and more news portals being established in the future, as the opportunity to start one will be too tempting to be turned down. Don’t you think?

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