Media Self Censorship

Feb 11th, 2008, in IM Posts, by

President Yudhoyono asks the media to not report inappropriate news stories.

In a speech marking National Press Day on 9th February President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asked journalists and media outlets to exercise self-censorship, given that the time of government control over the press is over.

He told about 500 journalists and media people present: [1]

I really want to see "self censoring" put into practice. I have hope that the Press Board, senior journalists and reporters, and leaders of journalists' associations will employ the principle of determining what is appropriate news and what is not.

Freedom of the press was much valued in Indonesia now, he said, and the country would not go back to the bad old days of active state interference in the media, but freedom had limits:

We are for freedom of the press but [in a way that is] useful, with good character, and responsible.

He mentioned [2] the example of the Danish newspaper "Jyllands-Posten", which published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in September 2005, and which were also featured by Indonesian newspaper Rakyat Merdeka, on its website. The newspaper's editor, Teguh Santosa, was later prosecuted.

We should learn a lesson from the case.

Other people's rights, freedoms and sensibilities had to be respected, he said, especially when religion was involved:

Religion is very sensitive because it's bound up with beliefs and emotions. Other people's religious beliefs may appear irrational to us but we have to respect them.

The President also said the media should be careful in reporting violent incidents such as demonstrations, should use well-formed language, be idealistic, help in the development of the nation, be uplifting, truthful, and fair and balanced.


46 Comments on “Media Self Censorship”

Pages: [1] 2 »

  1. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Other people’s rights, freedoms and sensibilities had to be respected, he said, especially when religion was involved:

    Religion is very sensitive because it’s bound up with beliefs and emotions. Other people’s religious beliefs may appear irrational to us but we have to respect them.

    Some true words Mr. President. But let’s look at yourself first. The government, authorities, politicians and senile wacko’s like the MUI should exercise some self-censorship looking at all stupidities and insensible statements uttered from their mouths. Furthermore it’s about time the government and authorities start to enforce the law by protecting the rights, freedoms and sensibilities you mention here, especially those from minority groups. If that will happen journalists and media are more than willing to bring “appropriate” news. Until then the media have the moral duty to stay critical of politics and events and yes, sometimes the truth can be “inappropriate” and hard to swallow.

  2. avatar Janma says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    should use well-formed language, be idealistic, help in the development of the nation, be uplifting, truthful, and fair and balanced.

    that’s an oxymoron…. Idealistic and Truthful? Is it possible, or is that just plain idealistic? LOL

    Like Sutiyoso saying they were going to have street racing (formula 1) in jakarta and then jakarta could be like Monarco…… That is Idealistic….. but truthful? What would that ideal be like in truth?

    Or like Bakrie saying that ‘rakyat’ need higher standards of living….. yes that would be ideal, but the truth is that he is burying thousands in hot mud.

  3. avatar Jamis says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    “people’s religious beliefs may appear irrational to us but we have to respect them”

    As an agnostic, yes I agree with the first part of this, however….I am born free. I am born with the inalienable right to openly criticize and express my views. Sometimes my beliefs may offend you, but it is no more than yours may offend me.
    I will respect and fight for your right to believe in any religion you want, but I also DEMAND the right to not believe in any and express myself openly.

  4. avatar Janma says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.
    -Voltaire.

    I just made a tee shirt that says, “Dear God, Don’t worry, I don’t believe everything everyone says about you…”

  5. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Re

    I just made a tee shirt that says, “Dear God, Don’t worry, I don’t believe everything everyone says about you”¦”

    Which God you refering to: Allah Subhana Wata’ alla or Jehovah?

    Amin.

  6. avatar colson says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Is this a presidential definition of modern journalism: freedom of press with built-in censorship?

    SBY is not only a cunning president of a major country, but he must be a skilled sick joker as well.

  7. avatar WP says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Come on folk, he simply called for responsible journalism. That’s a very reasonable request.

  8. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    We are for freedom of the press but [in a way that is] useful, with good character, and responsible.

    How nice it was during Orba, wasn’t it Mr. President? Everybody smiled and shut up.

    Religion is very sensitive because it’s bound up with beliefs and emotions. Other people’s religious beliefs may appear irrational to us but we have to respect them.

    Somebody concocts a fairy-tale, then calls it a religion and then you expect me to respect it ???
    Just give me one good reason.

    Respect
    “¢ People’s lives: yes, within reason
    “¢ People’s property: yes, within reason
    “¢ People’s right to a decent living: yes, unconditionally
    “¢ People’s ideologies: what for?

  9. avatar Agusto says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    “Religion is very sensitive because it’s bound up with beliefs and emotions. Other people’s religious beliefs may appear irrational to us but we have to respect them.”

    What this guy is trying to say is: Kaffir should respect sharia, jihad and be ready to be dhimmitude.

  10. avatar Pelopor » Letter to SBY says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    [...] newspapermen and women can be a real pain in the ass. That’s why, I think, you, according to IM, asked the press to practice more self censorship. To be less of a watchdog, and more of lap dog of [...]

  11. avatar Dragonwall says:
    February 11th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Usually in the media whether in Indonesia or worldwide, they are all the same

    Smoke cloud.

    They don’t really mean what they have in their heart but just to please the public. Plain deceit, like Bakrie, Jusuf Kalla, Habibie, Yusril, Wiranto and many of those liken to greedy moron that were trying to get the max for their efforts in politics.

    I suppose SBY had too many people tying his hands that the media does not submit to those who are rich or powerful in publishing news to distort the public and giving the government a hard time.

    If it is the truth then they should not hide the fact, but the problems is that who will be protecting these media people?

  12. avatar Janma says:
    February 12th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    People’s ideologies: what for?

    ummm….. so that they will respect ours maybe?

  13. avatar Oigal says:
    February 12th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Somebody concocts a fairy-tale, then calls it a religion and then you expect me to respect it ???

    Just wondering would you be referring to Christianity and Islam there?

  14. avatar Janma says:
    February 12th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Yeah Pak Dewa…. don’t you believe in the Balinese fairy tale? what if no one respected that fairy tale? Would probably not be here today.

  15. avatar Odinius says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 7:27 am

    Dear Indonesian Media,

    Please do not write about anything controversial. If you do, you may lose your right to do so, which you will hopefully never exercise.

    Signed,

    Uncomfortable with Democracy

  16. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Janma

    Yeah Pak Dewa”¦. don’t you believe in the Balinese fairy tale? what if no one respected that fairy tale? Would probably not be here today.

    I didn’t say that I don’t respect any fairy tale. I just refuse to be demanded or imposed to respect a fairy tale. Respect in the meaning that one isn’t allowed to criticize or to reject. And be assured that there are issues in the Balinese fairy tale that I strongly object too: manak salah a.o.

    Oigal

    Just wondering would you be referring to Christianity and Islam there?

    Yes, I do.

  17. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    At least the Danish won’t let themselves intimidated. Here is some “inappropriate” news for you, SBY.


    Cartoons controversy returns to Denmark – Today Danish newspapers Jyllands-Posten, Politiken and Berlingske Tidende have published the cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed again in their support for Kurt Westergaard, one of the creators of the cartoons. It was revealed that a group of two Tunisians and one Danish of Moroccan descent were planning an assasination on Westergaard.

    http://jp.dk/uknews/article1263133.ece

    Well done, Danish newspapers. Don’t bow down to the terrorists. Freedom of speech!

    @Janma

    I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it. – Voltaire.

    Actually it was Evelyn Beatrice Hall, a biographer of Voltaire, who said this. This was her illustration of Voltaire’s beliefs. But I’m fully supportive of this statement.

  18. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Lairedion

    Well done, Danish newspapers. Don’t bow down to the terrorists. Freedom of speech!

    These Danes are real Vikings. Hey ho”¦ hey ho”¦

  19. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Dewa,

    They are. And Danish women, together with the Swedish are hot, the best in the Bule world!!! :razz:

  20. avatar Djoko says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Well done, Danish newspapers. Don’t bow down to the terrorists. Freedom of speech!

    There’s not really anyone worth supporting on either side of that argument. The Danish cartoons were about as tasteful as someone publishing a cartoon of a Jew with a hooked nose counting up dollar bills (see perhaps Sabili if you need examples), and as a result are hardly the best poster child for freedom of speech. On the other hand you don’t see Jews getting pissed off and turning over cars every time someone scribbles up a anti-semitic cartoon either.

  21. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    @Djoko

    The cartoon itself may be offensive. I agree with you one can easily disregard such cartoons, use your common sense and pay no attention to it.

    But there’s more at stake here. Muslim extremists were plotting an assasination attempt against the cartoonist. How tasteful is that! From this point of view I agree with the Danish newspaper’s statement expressing freedom of press and speech, supporting Kurt Westergaard and not bowing down to extremism.

    Denmark is a democratic, secular society where freedom of speech and press is held in high regard. Religion is a highly personal matter. You are free to practice Islam within the boundaries of Danish law. Muslims choose to live in Denmark themselves. If they don’t feel comfortable, nobody or nothing is stopping them from moving back to Turkey, Morocco or Tunisia. It’s a free choice.

  22. avatar Janma says:
    February 15th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Actually it was Evelyn Beatrice Hall, a biographer of Voltaire, who said this. This was her illustration of Voltaire’s beliefs. But I’m fully supportive of this statement.

    I know….. I just couldn’t remember the Hall… bit…. I knew it was beatrice, but then I ended up thinking, “You know, what I can’t remember her last name and I can’t be bothered looking it up, so I’ll just write Voltaire and no one will be the wiser…”
    WRONG! LOL! ;)

  23. avatar Odinius says:
    February 15th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Denmark is a democratic, secular society where freedom of speech and press is held in high regard. Religion is a highly personal matter. You are free to practice Islam within the boundaries of Danish law. Muslims choose to live in Denmark themselves. If they don’t feel comfortable, nobody or nothing is stopping them from moving back to Turkey, Morocco or Tunisia. It’s a free choice.

    That’s not completely true. Muslims are treated much worse in Denmark than they are in neighboring Sweden or Norway. It wasn’t until after the cartoon crisis, for example, that the Danish government allowed Muslims to build any cemeteries. Cemetaries! Every multicountry poll shows Denmark to be one of the most racist in the EU and that its ethnic and religious minorities feel more aggrieved than in most other EU countries. Sure this is still a lot better than, say, the way Christians are treated in Saudi Arabia or Jews in Indonesia (what few there are of either), but it’s not exactly multicultural paradise either.

  24. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 15th, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    @Odinius

    Every multicountry poll shows Denmark to be one of the most racist in the EU and that its ethnic and religious minorities feel more aggrieved than in most other EU countries.

    That’s why I said this:

    If they don’t feel comfortable, nobody or nothing is stopping them from moving back to Turkey, Morocco or Tunisia. It’s a free choice.

    Why did Muslims choose to live in Denmark with the knowledge they were not allowed to have their own cemeteries and that Denmark is more racist than other EU countries? I guess they picked the wrong country then. They are 100% free to decide if they want to leave or to stay. It’s a free choice.

  25. avatar Odinius says:
    February 15th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Does that make it right, though? Can’t the oppressed anywhere “just leave?” Truth is, it’s neither that simple nor justifiable on those grounds.

    First of all, things develop over time. I doubt many of the Muslims who came to Denmark in the 1960s faced anything remotely close to the situation there is today. Denmark only developed xenophobic politics in the 1990s. So most of the Muslims in Denmark were there before it became a relatively nasty place for them. By then they have family roots down, businesses and other responsibilities that keep them from leaving.

    Second, if you happen to be a long-term Muslim resident–or better yet, a Muslim born in Denmark–and all of a sudden someone is stirring up sh*t against you because of your religious background, why, exactly should you leave? Because someone bullies you? Is it a “free country” only for the majority? If that’s the case, it’s not a very enlightened place by any yardstick, and your sunny description just doesn’t apply.

  26. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 16th, 2008 at 3:11 am

    One have to ask themselves why Denmark became a relatively nasty place to live in for Muslims in the 90′s? And this is not limited to Denmark. You see it happen everywhere in Europe.

    Salman Rushdie’s book. Khomeiny issued a fatwa. Screaming masses of Muslims demanding for Rushdie to be assasinated. 99% of these people didn’t even read the book but were just following hearsay. Since then everytime Islam or Muslims are criticized or offended we see fanatics screaming for murder, jihad and inciting violence.

    Many people found the displaying of the cartoons not the most sensible thing to do because they were afraid what was going to happen and it happened. Worldwide violent protests by Muslims against Denmark, flag burning, you name it. And if it was not enough a plan by Muslim extremists to assasinate Kurt Westergaard, one of the cartoonists, was discovered. Good thing the Danish newspapers didn’t exercise self-censorship under the threat of murder and violence.

    Here in Holland we once had a producer of pornographic movies who was operating under the name Shiva Movies. Pretty offensive to Hindus, not? Hindus indeed felt grieved but reacted mature and asked the producer politely if he could reconsider the name of his company. The producer agreed to change the name after discussing the matter with local Hindus. Common sense.

    Can’t the oppressed anywhere “just leave?

    This is an insult to people who are really oppressed, like the Black population of Darfur, the natives of the Americas or the Palestinians.

    By then they have family roots down, businesses and other responsibilities that keep them from leaving.

    On the other hand refusing to learn the language and adapt to the culture of the countries they live in and keeping their Turkish and Moroccan passports.

    Dutch-born Moroccan football player Ibrahim Affelay (PSV) opted to play for the Netherlands. He is a pious Muslim and followed bulan Puasa while playing football on the highest level. In stead of being applauded by the Moroccan community he was branded as a traitor by his “brothers”.

    The Turkish prime minister Erdogan visited Germany last week. He demanded Turkish speaking schools and universities to be established in Germany and was stating that assimilation is a crime against humanity. Assimilation is indeed not wanted but he should tell that the Kurds and Armenians in Turkey.

    The murderer of Theo van Gogh is a Dutch-born Moroccan turned jihadist refusing to recognize Dutch law and society because it’s blasphemous and not valid and only willing to accept Sharia.

    Moroccans and Turks celebrating and dancing in the streets after the 9-11 attacks.

    No wonder people feel disturbed and develop xenophobic thoughts.

    If you’re not fully committed to or be able to participate and contribute to the democratic systems, cultures and economies of Western countries and feeling curtailed in your religious beliefs why stay? If you are you’re more than welcome and can build your beautiful mosques and other places of worship to contribute to the cultural diverse landscape of Western countries.

  27. avatar Odinius says:
    February 16th, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Keeping in mind that every individual is different from any other, why should law-abiding Muslims pay the price for the relative few who can’t fit in? In Sweden, you have the same immigrant demographics as in Denmark, but you don’t have the xenophobia. You also, as a result, have a happier, more integrated minority and, by extension, a more benign multiculturalism. Denmark has, for years, treated two minorities–its Muslims and its Greenlanders–with contempt. Anyone wonder why some of them get pissed off?

  28. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 16th, 2008 at 4:42 am

    They are pissed off again as we speak.

    Danish Muslims in cartoon protest

  29. avatar Odinius says:
    February 16th, 2008 at 5:15 am

    Yeah but that’s a peaceful demonstration. Nothing wrong with that. It’s people expressing their right to be outraged. You can’t be in favor of free speech and not be in favor of that.

    Encouraging ne’er-do-wells in unrelated countries to stage violent protests, that’s another story… ;)

  30. avatar Lairedion says:
    February 16th, 2008 at 5:58 am

    Yeah but that’s a peaceful demonstration. Nothing wrong with that. It’s people expressing their right to be outraged. You can’t be in favor of free speech and not be in favor of that.

    Agree but if you read the article well these guys were using their right of freedom of speech to protest against freedom of speech! And guess what I just checked the news and you can wait for it. The demo’s are turning violent in the major Danish cities…

    It seems to me that you have particular problem with Denmark…

Pages: [1] 2 »



Your view on “Media Self Censorship” :


RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-14
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact