Jakarta, Jubi – The Executive Director of the national news agency Antara, Saiful Hadi, suggested penalty for journalists, including those form abroad who report biased and imbalanced news about Papua.
“Such journalists should be penalized, including those from abroad who broadcast fictitious news about Papua,” Saiful said in a speech at the National Seminar on Opportunities, Challenges and Obstacles on the Opening Access of Papua for Foreign Journalists at Wisma Antara, Jakarta this week.
He said the government must sit together with the Press Council to discuss possible penalties; so all journalists including foreign journalists could maintain their professionalism.
He reminded that the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Tedjo Edhy Purjianto also has mentioned that foreign journalists are allowed to enter Papua and West Papua provinces on a condition they do not broadcast slanderous news that discredits the image of Indonesia.
Therefore, he added, one approach to reduce the biased news is to improve the ability of public relations at the local government to allow journalists to obtain information. “This approach can suppress the negative perceptions that arise in Papua, so the balanced reporting can be achieved,” he said.
He further said the imbalance news could be a reason why the Indonesian Government is strictly limiting the access of entry for foreign journalists into Papua, besides security factor and indication of supports towards the separatist movement.
“Papua and West Papua provinces are part of the Republic of Indonesia and it should not be questioned, because it’s in accordance to the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 2504 dated 14 November 1969,” he said.
Meanwhile, related to the penalty, the Press Council said the council keep encourage the public to resolve the journalistic dispute in accordance to the code of ethics and the Law No.40/1999 on the Press. “We must prioritize the right of reply and the right of correction,” said the Press Council member I Made ray Karuna Wijaya on the same occasion.
And the Indonesian Government has given freedom for foreign journalists to do their work in the entire areas of Papua, which are included Papua and West Papua provinces. The President Joko Widodo was directly announced this policy on Sunday (10/5) after decades the Indonesian Government strictly limited access to foreign journalists in Papua.
The National Seminar organized by News Agency Antara was attended by representatives of Press Council I Made Ray Karuna Wijaya, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, Professor of International Law of Indonesia University Hikmahanto Juwana and Chairman of Papuan Parliament Caucus Paskalis Kossay. (*/rom)