The chaos of competing interests left by the collapse of the Suharto regime has made Indonesia the most democratic country in Asia, accompanied by the ‘. . . blossoming of a free and aggressive local media after decades of suppression under Mr Suharto . . . aiding civic activism, such as the fight against corruption’ (Mapes 2004: A1). However, efforts to influence, bully and control the mass communication media continue, as powerful local figures refuse to recognise the emergence of a plural industry, and political elites, accustomed to unquestioned power, find it hard to convey their messages in an increasingly complex media environment.