The faculty of social and political sciences (FISIP) of Universitas Hasanuddin (Unhas) held a webinar under the theme “Language and Social Media in Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic in New Zealand: Linguistic Analysis and Critical Discourse”. The webinar invited Dr. Nelly Martin-Anatias (Researcher from Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand). It was conducted virtually using the zoom meeting application on Wednesday (11/11).
The webinar was officially opened by Dr. Phil. Sukti, Ph.D., Vice-Dean for Academic. He thanked Dr. Nelly for her willingness to share knowledge and experience with Unhas. The activity was expected to benefit students and lecturers to improve insights, mainly on handling Covid-19.
“The topic discussed is fascinating. We can understand how other countries deal with Covid-19. The diaspora webinar is an effort to provide information to the society and part of the development of internationalization for the faculty and Unhas. We hope that participants can follow the presentations.” explained Sukri.
Nelly generally explained that the role of language or semiotics in politics is crucial to invite society to take part in the handling of Covid-19. The linguistics approach needs to be considered to help society be more obedient and collaborative in suppressing the spread of Covid-19.
Nelly said that the New Zealand government disseminated the information before and during the nationwide lockdown. In this case, the government of New Zealand used several dissemination methods, such as sending a message to society about the lockdown.
A few hours before the dissemination, the Prime Minister, Ardern, has been informed the society using Facebook LIVE about the preparation of nationwide lockdown, including things that need to be done.
“Semiotic sources in informing about the lockdown using Facebook live, she wore pyjamas while lulling her baby to sleep. PM Ardern built an image as a relatable leader, especially for women and mothers. Moreover, the concept used is as if he can be reached out. By using FB LIVE with chats, everyone can participate in asking questions and answering those questions,” explained Nelly.
Furthermore, Nelly informed that PM Ardern was elected with a landslide victory in the second period, October 2021. The survey showed that most New Zealand people believe in her leadership, especially during the pandemic. In handling Covid-19, PM Ardern has consistently used messages to her authority and compassion. So then, the society can easily accept and collaboratively participate in managing Covid-19.
The webinar was guided by Abdul Razaq Z.Cangra, M.Si., M.IR (lecturer from International Relations Department) and participated by 100 attendees.
Kumara Tungga Dewa, S.S.
Editor: Ishaq Rahman, AMIPR