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Media group probes claims 11 journalists acting as ‘spies’ for Indonesian military

Morning Star vests

Papuans protest by wearing banned Morning Star flag-styled vests in defiance of Indonesian military authorities. Image: West Papua Media

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Bintang Papua and Pacific Media Watch

Eleven journalists working in Papua are alleged to be passing on information to the Indonesian army – the TNI, triggering a protest from the Jayapura branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists.

“AJI is very concerned  that a number of Papuan journalists  may be agents of the military,” said chairman of AJI-Jayapura Viktor Mambor.

“If this is true, it would significantly damage the reputation of journalists who are neutral and who consistently serve the interests  of the general public.”

He said journalists should carry out their activities in the interest of the general public, in conformity with Press Law/1999 and should not be acting for certain groups or institutions.

According to the Press Ethics Code, they must at all times be “objective, accountable and transparent”.

The fact that 11 journalists may be assisting the TNI was “having a detrimental impact on those journalists who work in conformity with the ethical code because people may very suspect” other journalists.

“This is  serious precedent  and the public could very well regard all journalists as failing to be neutral and transparent. This is very serious indeed,’ Mambor said.

Investigating claims
He said AJI was carefully investigating the claims that some journalists were serving the interests of the military.

“We will investigate these claims while at the same time warning all journalists  to work clearly within the terms set by UU/1999.”

Earlier, the website Umaginews.com reported that a number of journalists in Papua were suspected of being military agents..

They were said to include journalists  in the print media, the radio, online, as well as in local and national TV.

As a result, many journalists were worried, fearing that they could be suspected of not being neutral or independent.

Report translated by the human rights agency TAPOL.

Indonesian Intelligence accused over ‘fake journalism’

1 comment:

  1. Dale Lanan, 22. July 2012, 3:20

    Papua, is effectively an exclusion zone for Free Press and until access isn’t denied to people wanting to go there and find out what’s up on their own and report what they believe is happening in their own words both formally in press and less formally by word spoken.. – As long as Indonesia requires special permit to visit, report or whatever else in the Land of Papua all reports getting official permission to be printed or broadcast are suspect. People of the world know that if Red Cross is denied access to Papua and NGOs are too along with private visiting by citizens of other nations, that the official News getting blessing as OK by Indonesia is likely slanted..
    No special rules are needed to weed out good reporting from bad..