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February 11, 2013

Thirty Years of Inside Indonesia

February 11, 2013

Inside Indonesia
No. 111: Jan-Mar 2013

The last three decades have seen many political and technological
changes, but Inside Indonesia remains a popular and important
publication

Jemma Purdey and Thushara Dibley

This year Inside Indonesia celebrates its 30th anniversary. It is a
wonderful milestone, no doubt unforeseen by founders Pat Walsh and
John Waddingham when they published its first edition, with Max Lane
in the editor’s chair, in November 1983. Since then 111 quarterly
editions of Inside Indonesia have been published and, since going
completely online in 2007, new articles also appear weekly.

As it was in the beginning, so the vision and mission of Inside
Indonesia remains today; a commitment to raising awareness about the
diversity of Indonesian society, and about the struggles of those
Indonesians who aim to achieve greater democracy, human rights, gender
and racial equality, tolerance and environmental sustainability. We do
this by publishing high-quality articles by experts, researchers and
practitioners in the field. Some things, however, have changed, not
least of these the end of the New Order’s autocratic rule in whose
midst the magazine was born, replaced by a largely stable albeit
flawed democracy.

Our readership has changed too…and also stayed the same. Many of the
subscribers to the printed magazine in the 1980s and 1990s are now
among the 3500 subscribers receiving the e-magazine in their inboxes
and reading it on their tablets and smartphones. The biggest change
however, is in the demographic of our readership. Where once Inside
Indonesia needed to be posted to subscribers in Indonesia in unmarked
brown envelopes and where one copy was passed around from reader to
reader, today the largest percentage of our readers are indeed inside
Indonesia – over 20 per cent, just a fraction larger than our
Australian readership, followed by the United States and then the rest
of the world. Our readers follow us on Facebook and Twitter and
through these and other channels the Inside Indonesia website receives
between 3000-4000 visitors a week.

Over the coming year we will be publishing a series of articles to
celebrate all of those people who have helped sustain Inside Indonesia
until today. This series will document some of the key events and
memories which have been part of the magazine’s history, contemplate
how things have changed since Inside Indonesia began and reflect on
the role the magazine may play into the future. This series of
articles, written by the movers and shakers of Inside Indonesia over
these 30 years, will also consider the changing impact on the magazine
of issues including the Australia-Indonesia bilateral relationship,
Timor Leste, media freedoms, political reform and much more.
Throughout 2013 we will also delve into the Inside Indonesia archive
to bring you some of the best articles, interviews and reviews from
across the decades.

As we launch into our series of articles, we hope that you, our valued
readers, will also participate in celebrating the achievements of
Inside Indonesia with us. Please feel free to share our articles on
Facebook, Tweet about what is written or leave a comment on the
articles. We are also planning a celebration event in Melbourne later
in the year – watch this space. All will be most welcome!

Finally, we need to acknowledge the central role that our volunteers,
contributors and readers have played in cultivating and sustaining
Inside Indonesia over the years. The magazine operates entirely on
voluntary labour and is funded primarily by donations. Without our
core group of editors, web managers, those who take the time to write
and, of course without our valued readers, Inside Indonesia would
simply not exist. Thank you to everyone who has helped make the
magazine what it is – we look forward to celebrating our 30th
anniversary year with you.

Selamat membaca!

Jemma Purdey (jepurdey) is Chair of the Inside Indonesia
Board; Thushara Dibley (thushdibley) is a Board member,
editor and web manager for Inside Indonesia.

✒ ✑ ✒ ✑ ✒ ✑ ✒ ✑ ✒ ✑ ✒

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