Pudja Lestari & Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday set a target for the presidential regulation on publishers' rights to be rolled out in a month.
Once issued, the regulation will become a blessing for news outlets, as they will earn royalties if online platforms such as Google or Facebook publish their content. Jokowi revealed that Communications Minister Johnny G Plate had recently applied for an initiative to issue a draft of the regulation to bridge the interests between digital platforms and media companies for quality journalism.
"I suggest the stakeholders discuss this matter in this one month, the draft must be finalized. I will take part in some of that discussion," Jokowi said at the 2023 National Press Day event in the North Sumatra capital of Medan on Thursday.
Media companies are losing their revenue to online aggregators. According to Jokowi, digital platforms – foreign ones in particular – represent 60 percent of today's ad spending. This has taken a toll on conventional media such as radio, print, and broadcast television. Although some conventional media have gone digital, it is still tough for them to compete against online platforms.
Jokowi argued that social media powered by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms had created information overload in society, blurring the lines between truths and lies.
"Our society is experiencing information overload from social media and other digital media, as well as foreign platforms without newsrooms or are controlled by AI. This giant digital algorithm tends to prioritize commercial revenue and would only publish unsubstantial and sensational content, sacrificing authentic journalism," Jokowi said.
Jokowi's plans for a publishers' rights regulation got a thumbs up from media companies, including B-Universe Media Holdings, of which The Jakarta Globe is a part of. B-Universe executive chairman Enggartiasto Lukita said Jokowi would take note of the press' demands and aspirations.
"The president has said that he will issue [the publishers' right regulation] in a month. If he says so, based on my experience, he would give a great deal of attention to the matter. He really heeds the aspiration and suggestions [from the media]," the former trade minister said.
A similar publishers' rights law is already in effect in countries such as Australia. In Feb. 2021, Australia passed the News Media Bargaining Code which mandates digital platforms to compensate media outlets if they use or link their content in news feeds or search results.