When the Indonesian Press Council try to expand its role: Is it good?

Last week, i was invited to attend the 4th Bali Media Forum in 2012. It is a very good discussion especially when I heard other countries experience in Press Freedom and their effort to established the independent Press Council in their respective countries. For me, it is a very attractive event since I was for so long not really attached to any media issue in Indonesia.

Well, a bit surprise for me when I heard Mr. Bambang Harymurti, the Vice Chairperson of the Indonesian Press Council explaining the role of the Indonesian Press Council, specially related to any activities undertaken by the Indonesian Press Council. Some of his statement is, they want to acknowledge Blogger as part of the journalists or conducted journalistic process. If the blogger want to have protection from the Indonesian Press Council they have to join to the journalists association (i think the association should be accredited by the Indonesian Press Council). But if the bloggers do not wish any protection from the Indonesian Press Council, they can left alone as freedom fighters.

Well, hearing that kind of statement made me smile. Basically as far as I know, not so many Indonesian bloggers are really freedom fighter or let say a human rights defender. IMHO, Indonesian blogger do know on human rights, since human rights is one of the main issue in Indonesia. But the main and basic question is do bloggers really play their role as freedom fighter? I doubt it. Some play their role to spread the human rights campaign, but I do doubt if the majority of blogger really do the human rights campaign.

I completly disagree to the statement made by Mr. BHM, since the main task of journalists work is verification. Do blogger really aware enough on this issue (except for journalists bloggers)? As for me, i do have to make some verification on a case, but even I never did that, when I wrote a post on my blog. I do agree that Indonesian Press Council together with journalists association do some basic journalistic training program to bloggers, but it won’t change blogger into a journalist or even a freedom fighter.

Personally, i must say that i am not a freedom fighter or even a human rights defender, i just an ordinary blogger that love so much on blogging

Other issue that relevant to discuss is when I heard that Mr. BHM is very proud on the role of Indonesian Press Council to settle any dispute between the media and the public through mediation means. Well I do not very sure, what kind of mediation that he was refer to, but if the ethic violation is settle through mediation i think the Indonesian Press Council is not really aware on its basic role as the sole guardian and the sole interpreter of the journalists code of ethic. I think the Indonesian Press Council should take a very strong stance on the journalists code of ethic, they should decide wether some news are violated the code of ethics or not. IMHO, the violation on code of ethic should be a black and white and clear decision from the Indonesian Press Council. But, I do agree if mediation is about how to restore the damage that already exists.

The strong position of the Indonesian Press Council in the matter of code of ethics will lead the Indonesian Press Council to issue at least a statement on a media that generally violate the code of ethic like some criminal news based media. So the question on mediation, do they gonna play their role as the guardian of the people or the guardian of the media?



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