Friday, 1 June 2012

Brutal Attack on Journalists


The reason why press freedom in Indonesia is under attack is because the government and news organizations often fail to protect journalists, according to press advocates.
"The government and news companies should be at the forefront in aiding journalists, not watchdog groups," said Agus Subidyo, a member of media rights group Press Council. 

Agus also lashed out against individuals who attacked journalists. "If you have a problem with a published work, complain to the editors. Don't attack journalists. Once an article has been printed, it becomes a collective work." 

For the sake of print media every article that is published is under the control of the editors not the journalists they just report and how the general public consumes it is their business but beating up journalists for their effort is inhumane.

These criticisms fresh on the heels of reports from watchdog groups that violence against Indonesian journalists is a pressing issue in the country.
The Legal Aid Center for the Press (LBH Pers) said that there were 45 cases of physical attacks on reporters so far in 2012. They added that there were 95 reported incidents of violence in 2011, up from 66 in 2010, most of which remain unresolved.

Similar reports from groups like the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and the France-based Reporters Without Borders presented grim results.
According to Fachry Ali, a political scientist, violence against journalists is a result of the country's democratization process. 

From his point of view the press gets stronger but there are always individuals or groups who feel threatened by what they see. These are the types of people  who are not ready to accept democracy and a free press.

 Indonesian press freedom is much better compared to the past, despite the watchdog reports. During the New Order period, the press went against an organized state. Today it goes against unorganized individuals," he said.
He added that the press was now on more equal terms with the state.

 "For example, if there was a political issue, whose word does the public trust? Is it the word of politicians or is it the word of a political discussion on TVOne? Of course people trust the word of the media more," Fachry said. 

Agus, too, shared Fachry's praise for the way press freedom has grown and criticized Reporters Without Borders for placing Indonesia as the third-lowest ranked country in Southeast Asia for press freedom, just above Laos and Vietnam. 

"But from a freedom-from-state-control point of view, is Malaysia or Singapore freer [than Indonesia]? Obviously not," Agus said. "If they're going to evaluate press freedom in this country, they should also take into account the ways that the press has fought hard to expose corruption." 


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Chinese Media


The Chinese media is the fastest in transformation however I think traditional media still play an important role although online media is becoming more and more influential.

The Chinese authorities earlier this month was forced to temporarily suspend trading of shares in the online unit of the People’s Daily newspaper. This is the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party. The price had soared so rapidly since the website’s April debut on the Shanghai Stock Exchange—giving it a greater market value than the New York Times—that it triggered regulatory rules aimed at halting speculative manipulation. This development is just the sort of absurd extreme that comes shortly before an economic bubble bursts.

The People’s Daily website is not the most popular in China, currently ranking 46th. With its usual fare of stultifying propaganda and official pronouncements, it lags far behind more vibrant, privately owned web portals like Sina, though they too are obliged to enforce government censorship directives.
This is similar to Fiji when there was heavy media censorship then removed recently this year with the introduction of a new decree.

So why the stock surge? The shares could have been artificially boosted by state-owned enterprises, which already owned much of the minority stake not held by the People’s Daily parent company. Or perhaps, as some analysts have suggested, investors were betting that a website with the closest possible ties to the Communist Party authorities had an ironclad advantage in China’s politically controlled media landscape.

This attitude resembles a sort of Stockholm syndrome, in which terrified and overawed capitalists embrace their Communist overlords. This is not a normal reflection a stock’s performance  in a normal  market economy.

Investment priorities at the provincial and local level are determined by political leaders, who have an incentive to boost growth figures through capital-intensive projects, regardless of actual demand or long-term profitability.  From what I gathered this system is corrupted which lacks transparency, accountability and efficiency.

Moreover, Communist Party leaders refuse to take any step that might shake their grip on power. The sorts of changes that would encourage private business—property rights enforced by fair and independent courts, leeway for journalists and prosecutors to combat fraud and official corruption—would require dismantling the party’s thoroughly institutionalized control over systems like the judiciary and media. And by exposing abuses, such changes could also threaten the legitimacy of the regime, which is already hard-pressed to stamp out scandals and unrest through heavy censorship and coercion.

In a democracy, problems are exposed sooner, bubbles burst earlier, and corrections are more easily made. If a leader or policy is discredited, voters can replace them without bringing down the whole political system, and the country moves on. In an authoritarian regime, the truth takes much longer to come out, and when it does, the collateral damage is extensive.

The mess  was created after one party decides to unravel facts that was dead buried long before  the paper was going to sold out but then its China.