Pushback against Indonesia’s revised broadcasting bill; journalist groups fear threats to press freedom

Pushback against Indonesia's revised broadcasting bill; journalist groups fear threats to press freedom

In response to proposed changes to Indonesia’s radio law, Indonesian journalist organizations have voiced concerns about repressed media freedom and threats to investigative journalism.
The Press Council stated on Tuesday ( May 14 ) that a recently amended broadcasting bill will only produce subpar journalism in the future and goes against the principles laid out in the press law.

” Why do we accept this act? First, because there is an article that prohibits analytical media. According to media council chairwoman Ninik Rahayu, the law’s mandate is violated by the press law, adding that the press law emphasizes investigative journalism as a foundation of skilled journalism and is essential for producing high-quality reporting.

The bill, first proposed in 2020 by politicians from the House Commission I, which oversees communications, military, intelligence, and international affairs, was finalised in October 2023 but kept mostly under wraps until recently.

It was debated earlier this year in the House Legislation Body ( Baleg ), with minor changes made on March 27. The most recent release was from May 16.

The updated act has received criticism from journalistic organizations because it aims to update the 2002 Broadcasting Law to tackle issues raised by new media platforms.

The Indonesian hit sees a provision that, unlike the media law, which forbids censorship and guarantees press freedom since its inception in 1999, as a key point of disagreement. &nbsp,

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission’s (KPI ) power in resolving any literary problems in radio, a position that the Press Council now holds, is another contentious clause of the costs. &nbsp,

Critics contend that this change may destroy the Press Council’s ability to take its case into account when seeking decision from the public regarding matters relating to press coverage. Furthermore, the proposed shift to the rules could lead to overlap between the two areas: the Press Council and the KPI.

The proposed legislation disregards the media rules. This shows that the document ( is not aimed at ) producing quality media in broadcasting”, Ms Ninik told a media briefing on Tuesday.

” Our rejection of the act is also based on the fact that steps to synchronize them must also be taken into account when drafting laws and regulations, she added. &nbsp,

Ms. Ninik added that the drafting process disregarded the constitutional court’s 2020 decision, which calls for significant public involvement in congressional processes. &nbsp,

” There must be society engagement. It is the women’s right to own their views heard and considered”, she added, highlighting that the Press Council was not included in the writing process.

In addition, Budi Arie Setiadi, the secretary of communication and computing, has voiced his opinion on the matter by questioning the justification for the bill’s provisions that could lead to the ban of investigative journalism. &nbsp,

” Media must be analytical, how can it be banned? According to Mr. Budi, news must continue to advance in order to meet the growing demands of society, as reported by Antara on Tuesday. &nbsp,

Members of the legislature involved in drafting the proposed bill then said that the act is not finalized and that they are still open to suggestions from the government and the journalism community in response to the most recent public outcry about the proposed costs.

Supratman Andi Agtas, the president of the house’s policy body, promised to” as soon as possible” and may solicit suggestions from members of the overseeing commission and other parties.

The truth is that we will talk to our journalists associates about the issues, he said. &nbsp,

Jakarta Post reported that Commission I associate TB Hasanuddin claimed that the bill was” never completely finalized” and that it remained open for revisions.

He made it clear that the effects of the bill on news reporting needed to be carefully considered, but he also emphasized that press freedom should be exercised with prudence and may serve the public interest. &nbsp,