Journalism Education Crucial for Papuans: Indonesian Press Council

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Press Council office - Jubi
Press Council office – Jubi

Jakarta, Jubi/Antara – Journalism education is important for Papuans, now that foreign journalists and international organizations have been given open access to Papua and West Papua, the Indonesian Press Council said.

“It is important to ensure that Papuan people are educated about ways to defend their rights from unbalanced news,” a member of the Indonesian Press Council, I Made Ray Karuna Wijaya, said after speaking at a seminar on “Opening Access to Journalists to Enter Papua” on Tuesday (26/5/2015).

Wijaya wants Papuan people to be able to report directly to the press council if they are harmed by foreign and national media.

In addition, Papuan people must also be aware that they have the right to contact the media directly.

“Everyone has the right to hold a dialogue with the media, from the head of the region to government officials, tribe leaders and community members,” he affirmed.

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The Indonesian Press Council itself refused to bring the issue of unbalanced reporting to the criminal realm. The agency encouraged people to act in accordance with Law Number 40 of 1999 on the press and journalistic code of ethics.

“We have to put forward the right of reply and correction,” he stated.

Therefore, Wijaya urged national and foreign journalists who wish to cover Papua to be mature.

“Journalists in all countries follow the same code of ethics,” he emphasized.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo had ordered the TNI and the National Police to stop using repressive security approaches in Papua. The president also stressed on the need to engage in a dialogue with Papuan people as one of the key measures to build mutual trust. (*)

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