The digital fetishism challenge of Indonesian millennial journalists

This study aims to analyze the journalism and digital media practice that resulted in the digital fetishism trend in Indonesian millennial journalists before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research adopts the qualitative approach by a case study with in-depth interviews with eight journalists from reputable print and online media and participatory observations which focus on eight journalists’ social media accounts. This research finds that digital media has become a part that cannot be separated from millennial journalists. Dependence on digital media forms a digital fetishism. This research shows that millennial journalists remain disadvantaged and tend to be exploited. Journalists also have the status of digital labor. Digital fetishism has become an ideology and identity which shackles millennial journalists. This study suggests that many opportunities can still be developed by gaining a sustainable future by prioritizing innovation, professionalism, independence, and inclusion.