Government, Businesses Hold Sway over Indigenous Institutions

University of Indonesia (UI) sociologist Thamrin Amal Tomagola -
University of Indonesia (UI) sociologist Thamrin Amal Tomagola –

Jayapura, Jubi – State agencies and businesses are powerful institutions and control the smallest institutions in the country, such as religious and traditional institutions, causing many problems, University of Indonesia (UI) sociologist Thamrin Amal Tomagola said.

“Haze that has blanketed several regions in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua is due to negligence of business and state institutions,” he said during a seminar titled ‘Portrait of Press Freedom in Papua’ held in Jayapura city, on Wednesday (10/28/2015).

In his presentation “Issues and Challenges of Freedom of the Press’, Tomagola said nowadays major media outlets in Indonesia are dominated by capital owners, allowing them to interfere in editorial content.

He further said media needs to be independent in order to provide quality and accurate information to the public.

He continued the task of the press is to educate the whole Indonesian nation, not to fool the public.

“The press should respect religious values and customs,” said sociologist who is from Halmahera, Maluku.

Press council chairman, Prof. Bagir Manan said, the limit of others’ freedom is the freedom of others. In the context of freedom of the press, the limit is journalistic ethics and then professionalism is integrity demands. “Integrity is relating to morals,” he added.

Chairman of the Law Commission of the Press Council, Yoseph Adi Prasetyo said, it requires data to measure press freedom index. These indicators, at least, can provide a complete picture.

“So when asked about the freedom of the press, we can show based on data,” he said. (Timo Marten)