Jayapura, 24/3 (Jubi) – The chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI) in Jayapura, Victor Mambor, said the media has failed to provide political education to the public on elections.
Speaking at a workshop on the Media Role and Transparency of Public Information in Elections in Papua on Saturday (22/3), Mambor said information on the legislative elections in Papua still relied on the mass media but the stories only contained interviews and not the results of in-depth investigations.
“Without explaining the regulations or legal rules to the voters, the publications will not provide the backgrounds of the legislative candidates, what have they done or their education backgrounds. Journalists always missed that point in their stories, and the public is not given information about the candidates,” he said.
He said journalists also failed to detail the process under which political parties determine their candidates in the elections.
“The impression is it’s paid news. What the candidates say become the headlines. It should be eliminated as it created the impression that the media are affiliated with candidates,” he said.
Meanwhile Usep Hasan Sadikin from the Union for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) said there are 4 important aspects in the election including the system, organizers, law and democracy.
He said there needs to be an election media center which serves as the center of information related to the elections.
A commissioner at the Papua Election Commission, Musa Sombuk, part the problems was information could trigger conflicts related to elections.
“I think if information is clear, differences could be minimized. The role of media is to build public capacity as well as to improve transparency,” he said.
He said that the election commission has an obligation to regulate the transparency principle through mass media which is part of public rights to have the information. The election commission should provide a public media center.
“Unfortunately it has not happened because of the limited budget. We only have budget for stationary, but there’s not budget for the internet, computer and staffers of media center,” Sombuk said. (Jubi/Sindung/rom)