Advocating Diversity through Social Media: Highlights from the Student Workshop in Pekanbaru, Riau

student workshop in pekanbaru

Participants, FNF staffs, and mentors of workshop for students in Pekanbaru, 26-29 May 2023

Day 1: Setting the Stage for Diversity Advocacy

On the first day, the workshop began with opening remarks from Tantowi and Yuni, the facilitators from SEJUK. Tantowi highlighted the reason for choosing Pekanbaru as the event location, citing the unequal treatment faced by residents in the region. For example, individuals of non-Muslim faiths were required to wear a headscarf in certain areas, such as Padang. Yuni emphasized the need for journalists to consider the context of the problems they report on and educate themselves about potential solutions. SEJUK educates journalists to think critically and propose solutions, fostering a spirit of diversity. Yuni also shed light on the thin line between mainstream journalists and media in Indonesia.

Following the opening speeches, Aurelia (Program Officer FNF), Ibu Youngest Non Itah (Head of International Cooperation Division, Ministry of Law and Human Rights), and Ellya (Representative of the Student Press Institute in Pekanbaru) delivered speeches, highlighting the significance of diversity in media and the importance of recognizing human rights.

The day continued with an introduction session, where participants shared their expectations for the workshop. Improved reporting skills, an open mindset towards diversity issues, and the opportunity for comparative study between student press institutions were among the shared goals.

Nurul Bahrul from and Kupi enlightened the participants about the perspective of social media as an alternative media. The importance of understanding the audience's demographics, daily challenges, moral compass, and media behavior was emphasized.

student workshop in pekanbaru

Nurul Bahrul conducted a quiz for the participants before starting her presentation.

Saidiman from Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting presented on the principles of diversity journalism. He discussed political systems, democracy, freedom, and the state of democracy in Indonesia. The importance of citizen involvement in decision-making, defending the country, and civil liberties was highlighted. Saidiman emphasized the need for freedom, tolerance, and accepting defeat in democratic elections, stating that these principles are crucial for societal progress.

student workshop in pekanbaru

Saidiman explained the Indonesian Democracy Index survey.

Daniel Awigra, the Director of Human Rights Working Group, delivered a thought-provoking presentation on diversity, human rights, discrimination, and the role of journalists in promoting a human rights perspective. He highlighted specific cases and issues, including housing difficulties due to religious differences, burial restrictions based on ethnicity, cyberbullying, LGBT rights, and discrimination against vulnerable groups. The importance of upholding human rights, equality, and freedom of religion and expression was emphasized.

Awigra explored the role of the media in educating the public and addressing discrimination, as well as the challenges posed by cultural and religious practices. The views of Mr. Daniel and Ms. Noni from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights were mentioned, emphasizing the importance of communication and recognizing diversity as both a blessing and a challenge. The presentation concluded by discussing the rights-holders under international and national frameworks and the role of the state in fulfilling its obligations.

In his speech, Awigra posed a thought-provoking question: "Is diversity a blessing or a misfortune?" This query encapsulates the complexities and challenges surrounding diversity. It reminds us of the ongoing efforts required to create a society that celebrates and respects differences, fostering inclusivity and equality.

student workshop in pekanbaru

Awigra began his presentation with the topic Protection of Vulnerable Groups.

Day 2: Exploring Diversity Journalism and Media Techniques

The second day of the workshop commenced with a reflection on diversity, setting the tone for the sessions to follow. Ahmad Junaidi, the Director of SEJUK and a lecturer at Untar, presented on the principles of diversity journalism. He highlighted the tendency of media to focus on private issues and shared tips for conducting diversity journalism. These included using open-ended questions, except with politicians, and customizing questions with multiple options to encourage diverse perspectives.

student workshop in pekanbaru

Ahmad Junaidi presented the Guide to Covering Diversity to enhance the participants journalistic skills.

Feby Indirani, a writer and female activist, discussed the portrayal of women and gender in the media. She shed light on gender biases, media representation, and biases in perception. Indirani emphasized the importance of recognizing biases and intersectionality in media content creation. She also explored the challenges faced by the child-free community and the underrepresentation of women as news sources. Indirani concluded by discussing power dynamics, the impact of patriarchy, and the need to challenge idealized images of women.

student workshop in pekanbaru

Students with Feby Indirani after her online presentation.

Dian Lestari delivered a presentation on writing features for diversity. She shared a case study involving the destruction of a mosque belonging to the Ahmadiyya Congregation in Sintang, West Kalimantan. Lestari provided guidelines for conducting interviews and writing features that present diverse perspectives. She emphasized active listening, managing emotions, and conducting thorough research before writing the feature.

student workshop in pekanbaru

Dian shared her reporting experience in Project Multatuli regarding the attack on Ahmadiyah in Sintang.

Goen Goenawan, a former SCTV journalist, shared his expertise on diversity video documentation. He discussed key elements such as storytelling, audio quality, and shooting rules for impactful videos. Goenawan provided tips on interview composition, shooting techniques, and equipment usage. He highlighted the importance of comprehensive research, reliable sources, and ethical practices when creating journalistic videos.

student workshop in pekanbaru

Presentation of Goen Goenawan.

Day 3: Field Visits and Video Production

On the third day, participants were divided into four groups for field visits to different religious and non-religious institutions: Catholic Church, Indonesian Social Change Organization (OPSI) who work to advocate for the rights of sex workers, Ahmadiyya, and Baha'i. These visits provided valuable insights into diverse religious practices and fostered a deeper understanding of religious minorities.

Following the visits, participants engaged in discussions to share their experiences and reflect on what they had learned. Their task for the day was to create a video highlighting their visit, showcasing the diversity they had witnessed, and promoting understanding and respect.

Day 4: Reflection and Video Presentations

The final day of the workshop began with reflections on the previous days' experiences. Participants shared their thoughts and insights gained during the workshop, emphasizing the importance of diversity in media and society.

The day culminated in the presentation of the videos created by the participants, capturing the essence of their visits to the religious institutions. These videos served as powerful tools to spread awareness and promote dialogue about diversity and inclusion.


The Student Workshop on "Advocating Diversity through Social Media" provided an enriching platform for journalists and content creators to understand and embrace the significance of diversity in their work. Through engaging presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and immersive field visits, participants gained valuable insights and practical knowledge on promoting diversity through various media channels. The workshop served as a catalyst for fostering open-mindedness, encouraging inclusive content creation, and advocating for equal rights and representation in Indonesian media. By leveraging social media, these passionate individuals have the power to amplify diverse voices, challenge biases, and contribute to a more inclusive society.


This article was written by Jana Dietrich, she is currently doing internship in FNF Indonesia for 4 months after finishing her exchange semester in Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She has a background in Political Science, specifically International Relations, and is still pursuing her degree.

Watch the results of the Workshop here:

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