Daniel Dhakidae, The Public Intellectual Has Passed Away


Daniel Dhakidae

JAKARTA, KOMPAS – Scholar and Chief Editor of the Magazine Prism Daniel Dhakidae (75) passed away, Tuesday (6/4/2021), at MMC Kuningan Hospital, Jakarta. Indonesia has lost a public intellectual who is considered one of the pioneers of critical thinking in the New Order era.

The sad news was expressed by Daniel’s younger brother, Lius, Tuesday morning. “YEF member Dr Daniel Dhakidae has passed in peace this morning at the MMC Kuningan Hospital, Jakarta at 7.24 WIB,” he wrote. Head of R&D Compass 1995-2005 he died of a heart attack.

“We lost,” said the Senior Editor Compass Rikard Bagun.

The author’s last conversation with Daniel took place when he was about to write an article about the power of narrative in public spaces on February 12, 2021. Despite having retired from Compass, he is not “stingy” in helping provide perspectives for young journalists at Compass.

However, at that time he could not be interviewed because there were problems with his voice. “My voice is hoarse and I can’t accept the interview,” he wrote in a Whatsapp message.


Daniel Dhakidae’s article entitled “Fifty Years of ‘Kompas’, Crisis Management, and Adaptability” in Compass edition of 50 years.

During his life, Daniel was once a part of Compass when he was the Head of Research and Development Compass in 1995-2005. After retiring, he became Chief Ombudsman Compass. Moment Compass aged 50 years, he wrote an article entitled “Fifty Years ‘Kompas’, Crisis Management, and Adaptability”.

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“There was an interesting journalistic change, namely a shift from actual journalism,”actual journalism’, with slogans’the fact is sacred’ and chase the facts on the field and ‘make them speak’, Becomes ‘authorial journalism’,“Wrote Daniel in the article.

General Manager of R&D Compass Harianto Santoso revealed that Daniel had joined Compass can not be separated from the request of the founder Compass, Jakob Oetama. After graduating from his doctoral studies from Cornell University, United States, Daniel was asked to lead R&D Compass.

At the start at R & D CompassHarianto said, Daniel often asked questions about the contribution of researchers in a newspaper. On the one hand, journalists are required to work with a limited time, while researchers need more time due to the complexity of the methodology that must be passed.

“Daniel can marry the two so that a solution appears in the form of public opinion. Journalists contact the sources, while researchers are from the community side. He made a researcher at R & D Compass recognize research methodology as well as sociology, “he said.

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For this breakthrough, Daniel is considered capable of answering Jakob Oetama’s ideals Compass can answer problems in society.

Director of the Center for Media and Democracy Studies LP3ES Wijayanto

Director of the Center for Media and Democracy Studies, Institute for Economic and Social Research, Education and Information (LP3ES), Wijayanto revealed that Daniel’s departure was a big loss for Prism, LP3ES, and Compass.

”He also grew up Compass as one of the dailies with the best journalism quality in the country. At its time it was read by over half a million readers, making it one of the most influential dailies in the country. Daniel is one of the figures who has an important role behind the greatness of this daily, “he said.

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In addition, Daniel’s departure was a major loss in the media and democracy fields. His dissertation work entitled “The State, the Rise of Capital and the Fall of Political Journalism” which is maintained at Cornell University, said Wijayanto, is one of the great work in this field.

“I memorized it by heart as one of the main inspirations for my dissertation. This dissertation reflects not only intelligence, but also hard work and courage, “said Wijayanto whose dissertation at Leiden University was tested by Daniel.

Lecturer at Murdoch University, Australia, Ian Wilson, said that Daniel is a very important and influential public intellectual. The deceased was a pioneer of critical thinking in the New Order era whose legacy and contribution will continue to live on.

Quoted from the Prisma Resource Center, Daniel is a graduate of Gadjah Mada University State Administration Science (1975) and holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Cornell University (1987).

Daniel earned his PhD (1991) in government from the Department of Government, Cornell University, United States, with a dissertation entitled “The State, the Rise of Capital and the Fall of Political Journalism, Political Economy of Indonesian News Industry”. The dissertation was awarded the Lauriston Sharp Prize from Cornell University’s Southeast Asian Program.

Apart from being the Head of Research and Development Compass, he also works as a magazine editor Prism (1976), Chairman of the Editorial Board Prism (1979-1984), and Deputy Director of the Institute for Economic and Social Research, Education and Information (LP3ES, 1982-1984).

Daniel Dhakidae (center)

His works which until now have become a reference in the field of political science are among them Intellectuals and Power in the New Order State (2003). Together with Vedi Renandi Hadiz, he also edited a book entitled Social Science and Power in Indonesia (2005). He also wrote the introduction in the book Imagined Communities: Imagined Communities (2008). These books have even become mandatory books for Political Science and Government Science students in Indonesia until now.

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