Conflict on private land: The role of “yellow journalism” in the turmoil of batu ceper, tangerang 1934

Muhamad Mulki Mulyadi Noor, Susanto Zuhdi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The so called Particuliere Landerijen in the colonial context was a form of land which allowed the ownership of both land and resident. This form of ownership sometimes created social and economic instability because of large concession over the taxes and also internal conflicts between peasant and landlord. These conflicts usually appear in a form of explosion of hostility, security disturbances or turmoils which could disrupt rust en orde in the Nederlandsch Indie. This chapter discusses the conflict and social unrest in the Batu Ceper private land, Tangerang which involved peasants and landlord in 1934 as revealed in several newspapers. Although the events in Batu Ceper took place within hours, but it was an example of anti-extortion movement erupted due to the Cuke and Kompenian problems against the background of the social and economic issues that have occurred in the Tangerang private lands since the late 19th century. This study uses a media assessment approach by applying historical methods through extracting and analyzing data sources, especially archives and newspapers of the colonial period. Therefore, it uses both Dutch and Malay language newspapers as primary sources. By using hypodermic needle theory, this study identifies Yellow Journalism, a model of early 20th century journalism, succeeded in uplifting the Batu Ceper event with a bombastic and sensational headline in the form of an exciting debate between the newspapers of the defenders of the landlords (the white press) and the peasant advocates (press indonesiers). The victory of the " white press” in the court did not mean the end of potential chaos, because the’anxiety’ as a factor of chaos, never faded away due to a mere court ruling. This chapter shows that the study of social history, especially the one using mass media as its primary focus, exhibits the characteristic of disruption era in a historical perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDissecting History and Problematizing the Past in Indonesia
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781536193992
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Batu ceper
  • Conflict of peasants vs. landlord
  • Private land
  • Tangerang
  • Yellow journalism


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