Authors: Arifudin, Hermin Indah Wahyuni, and F. Trisakti Haryadi

Research Article

Year: 2020, Volume 20 Number 1

Pages: 17–30 


Haze, driven by peatland fires, has been a dangerous ecological problem in Indonesia that has affected its social system and impacted the air of countries in Southeast Asia. As Niklas Luhmann explained, the social system could be disturbed by ecological problems, but its subsystems can also be seen in media discourses. This study, thus, aims to analyze the discourses presented in two local Indonesian media, Riau Pos and Pontianak Pos, about the haze disaster. Critical discourse analysis was used to analyze the discourses that are representative of subsystems. We also analyzed the correlation between discourses and peatland fires. The results show that there are nine subsystems affected by the haze disaster: economy, politics, law, science, education, religion, art, public health, and volunteerism. Of these, politics is predominant in the local Indonesian media. In addition, the number of discourses is in line with the fluctuation of hotspots. To conclude, the haze problems can be seen by understanding the discourses in local mass media that have described which subsystem is constructing the social system. Therefore, this study suggests decreasing the domination of politics and increase the role of other subsystems, particularly the subsystem of law, science, and education in the Indonesian social system. 

Keywords: ecological communication, haze disaster, local media, Niklas Luhmann, peatland fires