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." 


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