Press Plays Important Role in Supporting Papua Development

workshop on Legal Protection for Journalists and Media - Jubi
workshop on Legal Protection for Journalists and Media – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The press plays an important role in supporting the development of Papua Province as it also serves as an educator of society, an advisor to Papua governor on regional potential, Kansiana Salle, said .

Journalists must be accurate in presenting news on development, politics and other issues in line with the press code of ethics, he said.
“I think the press workers have a very important role in supporting the development of a region because the public would not recognize the government’s efforts if there is an absence of the press,” said Salle when opening a workshop on Legal Protection for Journalists and Media at Aston Jayapura Hotel, Papua on Monday (15/6/2015).

According to her, today journalists are facing a huge challenge. On one hand, technological advances and changes has encouraged the alteration of both moral and ethical values that bearing a lot of moral dilemmas to be considered among community. That’s why it is difficult to maintain the ethics although it is also increasingly important in maintaining the interest of the profession. Therefore, the ethics of a journalist should be based on moral of profession that associated with the values of Pancasila (State’s Principles).

“A journalist should have an extensive knowledge, be smart and skillful in delivering, managing and disseminating the news or articles to the public concerning with the Press Law No.40/1999,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Legal Commission Chairman of Indonesian Press Council, Yosep Adi Prasetyo said the press has six ideal roles in public, namely monitoring, interpreting, liaising, searching values, entertaining and mobilizing.

In running its monitoring role, the press must able to warn people about the situation or progress occurred in a region, such as warnings of impending flood, degenerated economy, new products and so on. “The press could also warn the official or government of a region about the accurate information, such as its current situation and so on,” said Prasetyo.

Meanwhile, related to the protection of journalist and media in line with the Law No.40/1999 about Press and Political Law adopted on Press Decriminalization, he said the resolution of journalistic mistakes is determined with the right of reply, if it was not meet satisfaction, it would take a legal process with proportional penalty.

“Based on the policy issued by the President Yudhoyono, at the first stage, the press dispute should resolve by the right of reply. And if the agreement wasn’t achieved at the first stage, the dispute should be taken to the Press Council. At the end, if it has not yet accomplished, the resolution through legal process is allowed as long as it is fair, transparent and accountable,” he said.

While the Press Law determines the press disputes if the news about the result of social control function is considered inappropriate, not accurate or false in accordance with the Article 5 Paragraph 2 of the Press Law, the relevant media have obligation to serve the right of reply. Meanwhile if the relevant media refuse to provide the right of reply proportionally, it could charge to pay the penalty of Rp 500 million in referring to the Article 18 Paragraph 2.
“Press can not be charged by Criminal Code. Therefore, if it’s concerning to the matters of news, please communicate it with the Press Council,” he said.

He also added if the disputes occurred in the regional level, journalist or media could ask the assistance from the Press Expert as the representative of Press Council because the expert has responsibility to explain about dealing with cases of a journalist. “Papua only has one expert, that is Victor Mambor. So, if any fellow journalists face a problem concerning to their news, please contact him for assistance and he would help,” said Prasetyo. (Alexander Loen/rom)