On 14 March, Kinan* was spending her free time binge-watching the South Korean TV drama Age of Youth. She works as a reporter for one of Indonesia’s national news outlets—a profession that leaves her with very little time to relax. Work-free weekends, in particular, are a rare treat. That night, her phone rang loudly out of the blue. One of her office superiors—an editor—was calling.

“Kinan, go check your WhatsApp,” he said without further explanation. It turned out that her office group was already flooded with messages. Kinan’s name was repeatedly mentioned in the ongoing conversation—including by her field coordinator who kept asking her: When was the last time you met in person with Transportation Minister Budi Karya?

Members only

Log in or

Join New Naratif as a member to continue reading

We are independent, ad-free and pro-democracy. Our operations are member-funded. Membership starts from just US$5/month! Alternatively, write to sponsorship@newnaratif.com to request a free sponsored membership. As a member, you are supporting fair payment of freelancers, and a movement for democracy and transnational community building in Southeast Asia.

Fadiyah Alaidrus is an English Language Content Editor for New Naratif. Their works have been published in Wall Street Journal, Mongabay, Coconuts Jakarta, Project Multatuli, Tirto, Tempo, etc. Mainly, they write about environmental, gender and human rights issues.

Eduard Lazarus is a writer and editor living in Jakarta covering media and political movements. His past work encompasses editing for Remotivi, a Jakarta-based independent media studies publication, and writing on cultural policy for Indonesia Arts Coalition.