Following the Four Characteristics of AES Thought

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Media life in Indonesia lost a lot after the departure of Amir Effendi Siregar (AES). This media thinker and guardian of media democratization in Indonesia is the cornerstone of media management studies and the forerunner of UII’s Communication Study Program. Many are inspired by and imitate the thoughts of AES. This is especially the case after the publication of Amir Effendi Siregar’s book “Against Capital Authoritarianism” in the Thought and Movement of the Democratization of the Media.

Iwan Awaluddin Yusuf, UII Communications Lecturer, student and successor of Amir in two institutions (UII Communications and PR2Media), noted the exemplary characteristics of AES’ thinking. He sees AES thinking always brings up four things. These four things are the characteristics that make AES’ thinking timeless. In addition, AES’s passion for science can also be seen from this characteristic.

First, AES’s thinking is always accompanied by a philosophical study. This is characteristic of studying things from the roots, from philosophy. “He always philosophically talks about big macros, then secondly, his thoughts always bring up data,” said Iwan, a doctoral graduate from Monash University, Australia, at the Book Discussion via Zoom, which was held on Saturday, July 10, 2021.

The involvement of the data for every AES’s writing shows that AES is always based on empirical data. It constantly updates and relates to the latest conditions.

In addition to philosophy and data, said Iwan, Bang Amir also did not forget to compare practices in other countries. “In fact, he often argues between data and data. Usually, for example, AES always emphasizes seeing India and other countries that are socially similar,” said Iwan recalling the time when AES was still alive and active in PR2Media.

The fourth characteristic, AES thinking, is always contextualised and refers to the constitution. This reference to the constitution makes AES’ thinking always worth considering in reviewing and updating regulations. This includes AES studies on media technology in the digital era.

“Where I study, Monash University no longer uses the word new media because new media is relative. So digital media is used,” said Iwan. “New media will become old media in time,” he added. No matter how advanced the development of technology and media is, the keyword remains the same, namely democracy, with a keyword that AES often mentions as diversity.