I’m planning on writing a feature story about the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), a governmental body which manages tax-funded scholarship funds to prepare for Indonesia’s future leaders. They are founded in 2012 with the goal of generating leaders and professionals who will lead the acceleration of Indonesia’s development.
Up to this year, they have funded 18.466 individuals who studied postgraduate degree both domestically and overseas. In 2017, the Indonesian government has allocated Rp 22.5 trillion (US$1.68 billion) to be managed by LPDP. The applicants can pursue a postgraduate degree in any field that they are interested. However, they must come home and contribute in any way they can. The awardees do not have a contract to work with the government.
Although the institution performs well in managing the scholarship fund and delivering it to its awardees, they have suffered from several prominent issues in the last few years. The problems ranging from a discriminatory rule (only people from eastern regions of Indonesia require HIV test), biased interview panel (racial, religious, and gender questions) and unequal opportunities across Indonesia (especially people from least-developed provinces). Furthermore, there is a negative public perception of overseas student spending time travelling instead of studying and some awardees are not coming back to the country once completing their degree.
These issues are the angles that I’m going to pursue because tax money funds LPDP. Indonesian citizen who pays their tax deserves to know how their money is being used. LPDP is doing an excellent job in preparing for the future leader of Indonesia. However, they have some issues that need to be addressed.
Publication and target users group
The target audience of my feature story would be the Indonesian citizen in general. However, it specifically concerns people who want to apply for LPDP scholarship because they need to know how fair and objective is the selection process. The story could also be important for people who already receive the scholarship as they want to keep updated on how the institution performs.
Source of Information
I will interview several LPDP awardees who studies at the University of Sydney. I will ask several questions regarding their studies, why they chose to take the scholarship, what solution could be implemented with the issues currently facing the institution and how could the institution do better according to their perspective.
I will also try to contact the public relations department of LPDP to get the latest information on how they approach the issues and what measures have been implemented to solve it.
I will combine text, image, hyperlinks, and infographics in presenting my feature story. At the beginning of my feature, I’m planning to introduce my sources profile in the form of images before going in-depth in the story.
I will utilise the fact, quote, and anecdote model (Tanner, 2008a), where there will be a combination of hard data, quotes, and stories from the interviewee in my feature story.
Tanner, S. (2008a). Developing writing techniques. In Feature writing: telling the story (pp. 100-119). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand.