Appropriate Public Communication for the Community in Handling the Covid-19 Pandemic in Batu Bara District, North Sumatera Province
Keywords:public communication; covid-19; Batu Bara District; North Sumatera Province
Communication and media are important in conveying public communication messages in an effort to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic in Batu Bara District, North Sumatera. To implement public communication during the Covid-19 pandemic, the policy must be able to provide the right choice for the people there. The research questions include, is the public communication policy that has been carried out by the local government in accordance with the expectations of the public in Batu Bara District? Next, what is the public communication model carried out by the local government, including its regent in handling Covid-19 in Batu Bara District? The research uses a qualitative approach and data collection techniques using Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The FGD participants consisted of the regent, and staff and residents of the local community whom we chose separately. The results of the FGD revealed that residents recognized from mass media reports and social media that conveyed that Batu Bara District managed to become one of the best districts in handling Covid-19 and received an award from the Governor of North Sumatera. Some residents expressed, "We expect our father (regent) to be among us". The regent added that for areas far from the district, Covid information was conveyed through religious leaders and community leaders in the village. This is also an appropriate model of public communication, because the local government gives a significant social role to religious leaders and community leaders as an extension of the district government in conveying information related to Covid-19.
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