Digital Media Environment in Indonesia: Enhancing Digital Safety and Resilience

Digital safety

The rapid growth of the internet and digital technologies in Indonesia has transformed the media landscape in the country, with over 212.9 million internet users as of January 2023. This digital revolution has brought about the rise of online media outlets, citizen journalism, and social media activism, providing diverse perspectives.

However, it has also exposed media professionals to new risks like online harassment, privacy violations, and gender-based violence (GBV). To address these concerns, the Indonesian Government passed the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Law in 2022 to protect personal data and establish obligations for organizations handling such information. Safeguarding digital privacy is crucial for safety, dignity, and freedom of expression, and the media can play a vital role in raising awareness and promoting responsible practices.

ABC International Development (ABCID) is working to support the Indonesian media sector through the Indonesia Media Development Program, focusing on enhancing digital safety and resilience. SMERU, an independent research institution, takes part in this initiative by  examining policies and accompanying cases to generate insights into interventions and capacity-building initiatives promoting digital safety and resilience among journalists, media workers, and digital rights advocates. The goal is to strengthen Indonesian independent media's digital safety and resilience in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.


The study aims to contribute to the Indonesia Media Development Program's goal and objectives by providing a sound contextual overview for program coordinators and stakeholders. The program also aims to increase journalistic and media resilience in the digital sphere by addressing the rising issue of online GBV and the implications of the new PDP law.


The study adopts qualitative approaches to provide a multifaceted understanding of the digital media environment in Indonesia.

  1. Desk-based research: A systematic review of regulations, relevant policies, codes of ethics, regulations, industry, and peer-reviewed literature in both Indonesian and English. This review covers internet regulation and online privacy; safety; and the principals of gender equity, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) in online spaces.
  2. In-depth interviews: In-depth, semi-structured interviews with representatives from relevant organizations, including representatives from journalist associations, digital rights advocates/academics, and GEDSI advocates. These interviews shed light on the practical implications of the policy landscape, as well as the experiences and perceptions of stakeholders working within the digital media environment.

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Muhammad Syukri
Asep Kurniawan
Team Member 
Made Anthony Iswara
Completion Year 
Project Donor 
ABC International Development (ABCID)
Type of Service