Harian Rakjat

Harian Rakjat (EYD: Harian Rakyat, English: People's Daily) was an Indonesian newspaper published by the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) from 1951-1965. The Harian Rakjat motto was "Untuk rakjat hanya ada satu harian, Harian Rakjat!" (For the people there is only one daily, Harian Rakjat!). Harian Rakyat was managed by Njoto as a member of the editorial board and Mula Naibaho as editor in chief.

Harian Rakjat
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Communist Party of Indonesia
Editor-in-chiefMula Naibaho
FoundedJanuary 31, 1951
Political alignmentCommunism
Ceased publicationOctober 3, 1965
HeadquartersJalan Pintu Besar 93


Early historyEdit

Harian Rakjat was first published on January 31, 1951, and was originally named Soeara Rakyat (People's Voice). In its heyday, Harian Rakjat was the most popular political newspaper ever published in Indonesia, with average circulation of 23,000 copies in the 1950s and 1960s.[1] The newspaper was sold at a retail and subscription price of Rp 0.60 and Rp 14.5 a month, respectively.

Bans and closureEdit

With its confrontational style, Harian Rakjat always opposed other parties and the authorities. Because its message was considered to have violated the rules imposed by the government of the time, Harian Rakjat was occasionally banned. The first ban occurs lasted for 23 hours, between September 13, 1957 at 21.00 and September 14, 1957 at 20:00. Other newspapers, such as Indonesia Raya, Bintang Timur, Pemuda Merdeka, Djiwa Baru, Pedoman, Keng Po, and Java Bode, as well as three news agencies: Antara, PIA, and INPS were banned for the same time period.[2]

The ban was repeated on July 16, 1959 for a month because the paper published the PKI Central Committee statement of July 3, entitled "Evaluation after one year of the Working Cabinet does not guarantee the implementation of the 3 chapters program, so they should be retooled immediately". On August 2, 1959, a month after the ban, Harian Rakjat returned to print.[3] On November 2, 1959, the newspaper was banned again by the War Authority (Penguasa Perang). This time, the reason was not so clear. This led to the Harian Rakjat circulation expansion led by PKI officials D.N. Aidit, M.H. Lukman, and other PKI activists, who directly took to the streets.[3] On December 9, 1959, Harian Rakjat was banned again for a story about "Njoto's November 23 lecture in the SBKA building", which was published on November 24, 1959. The reason for banning was also not clear, giving rise to protests. Following pressure, Harian Rakjat was finally permitted, and published again on December 23, 1959 .[4] On February 3, 1961 the newspaper was banned again by in Greater Jakarta. The reason for the ban was the welcome address from PKI chairman D.N. Aidit on the 10th anniversary of Harian Rakjat. In his address, Aidit raised the question of democracy and political freedom. According to the War Authority, this could disrupt political stability in Indonesia.[5]

After the events of the September 30 Movement in 1965, all dailies published in Jakarta were banned, except the military-owned Angkatan Bersendjata and Berita Yudha. On October 3, 1965, Harian Rakjat finally ceased publication. It was not only disbanded: all the PKI members and activists who supported the newspaper were hunted down, arrested, imprisoned, and even killed. The final words from the editor to its readers were, "Many-many thanks, all the readers!"[5]

Journalism styleEdit

The style of journalism carried by Harian Rakjat was 'confrontation journalism' with the explosive language.[6] It editorials were confrontational, leading to conflicts with other media.[6][7] It always took a bold and offensive stance against its opponents. Its simple, agile, and forthright language style - in accordance with the teachings of Marxism and Leninism - was easily understood by the peasants and workers who were the basis of the PKI support.[8]

Harian Rakyat was seen as the defender of the Sukarno's Political Manifesto (Manipol). While the right-wing or conservative newspapers were not too concerned about the manifesto, Harian Rakjat became the manifesto's propaganda mouthpiece. It remained anti-imperialist, and considered the right-wing newspapers to have insulted Sukarno for not supporting the manifesto.[9] Harian Rakjat took the stance that it would not publish any writing that was contrary to the ideas of the revolution.


  • Taufik Rahzen, dkk (2007). Seabad Pers Kebangsaan (1907-2007). Yogyakarta: I:Boekoe.
  • Rhoma Dwi Aria dan Muhidin M. Dahlan (2008). Lekra Tak Membakar Buku. Yogyakarta: Merekasumba.
  • Arif Zulkifi, dkk (2014). Seri Buku Tempo: Lekra dan Geger 1965. Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia.


  1. ^ "Harian Rakjat: Di Bawah Pukulan dan Sabetan Palu Arit", Jurnal Nasional, Senin, 23 Jul 2007
  2. ^ Taufik Rahzen, dkk. 2007, p. 700.
  3. ^ a b Rhoma Dwi Aria dan Muhidin M. Dahlan 2008, p. 98.
  4. ^ Rhoma Dwi Aria dan Muhidin M. Dahlan 2008, p. 99.
  5. ^ a b Rhoma Dwi Aria dan Muhidin M. Dahlan 2008, p. 100.
  6. ^ a b Rhoma Dwi Aria dan Muhidin M. Dahlan 2008, p. 77.
  7. ^ Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia 1994, p. 32.
  8. ^ Arif Zulkifi, dkk. 2014, p. 43.
  9. ^ Rhoma Dwi Aria dan Muhidin M. Dahlan 2008, p. 78.