Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Papua Alliance of Independent Journalist, Victor Mambor said to open the access for foreign journalist to Papua is crucial in preventing misinterpretation about Papua in the interview with Alliance of Independent Journalist Indonesia during the World Press Freedom Day (WFPD) 2015 last week.
He explained currently media progress in Papua is continuously improved as well as the challenges, including the human resources, financial and ethics issues and journalist positioning. Now in Papua the number of journalists is growing in connection with the media grows.
“However, it can say those who have skills and ethics were not growing in parallel. About the challenges, there are no significant changes. The journalists are still facing the threat of violence with the same intensity like just happened in previous years,” Mambor said.
The Papua’s geographical situation becomes the greatest challenge for journalistsin Papua. This condition has made them find difficulty to cover both side stories in the verification or confirmation process. As the result some news from Papua frequently could be incomplete or bias with the authorities’ interest.
“Every year there are four or five foreign journalists asked me about the current situation in Papua. Most of them were not allowed to come to Papua. Based on their information, I can make a conclusion that their applications to cover the reports in Papua were ignored. Even, they did not receive any response whether they could have permit or not,” he said.
He further said the more closed of the access would raise questions from the international community about what was happening in Papua. “Conflict in Papua could be clarified in comprehensive way to the public through the information conveyed by journalists,” he said.
He also said besides the campaign to open the access for foreign journalists to Papua, lobbying the related stakeholders is also crucial in order to clarify the regulation for foreign journalist. “Here we can see the real problem is the vague regulation,” he firmly said.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed the Word Press Freedom Day in 1993 following the recommendations of the press freedom that was adopted in the 26th UNESCO General Conference in 1991. Both recommendation and conference were also to response the African journalists’ expression in 1991 which resulted the Windhoek Declaration that contains about the principles of pluralism and independence of the media. (Arnold Belau/rom)