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National press day advocates informed voting and hoax-free elections

Jakarta Globe - February 9, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – As Indonesia commemorates National Press Day leading up to the 2024 election, the press takes on a crucial role by providing accurate information, debunking hoaxes, and encouraging people to vote for a smooth and peaceful electoral process.

"Media plays an important role in overseeing peaceful elections. If the elections are peaceful, it signifies national unity, in line with the National Press Day theme," said Usman Kansong, the Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Communication and Information Ministry, on Friday.

National Press Day is commemorated on Feb. 9 while the election is set to take place on Feb. 14. The theme for this year's National Press Day is "Safeguarding National Leadership Transition and Preserving National Unity."

He stressed the importance of maintaining an independent and critical press, particularly in the context of elections. The media should encourage public participation in voting while discouraging involvement in vote-buying practices.

Usman urged the press to act as a clearinghouse for debunking hoax news, especially in the lead-up to the elections.

"In realizing peaceful and legitimate elections, collaboration between the press, government, and the public is essential for a better transition of leadership," he concluded.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati emphasized the crucial role of the press in democratic nations. "The role of the press is fundamental in a democracy. As the frontline, the press has a significant responsibility to enhance civilization, shape opinions, and serve as an enlightening and educational information source," said Sri Mulyani in a video shared on her social media accounts.

She emphasized that amid Indonesia's current leadership transition, the press must provide clear and trustworthy information, maintaining government integrity and national unity.

"Balanced, intelligent, and educational reporting is part of building the nation's dignity," she said.

Sri Mulyani expressed hope that members of the press would adapt to and mitigate the negative impacts of digital technology, enabling them to continue reporting and broadcasting events, history, and essential life lessons with a commitment to accuracy, integrity, truth, and justice.

"Indonesian media professionals are not just passive witnesses to significant events in the Republic of Indonesia but are active contributors in shaping Indonesia's history," she added.

The Minister of Finance commended the hard work and dedication of Indonesian media professionals in maintaining clarity, intelligence, and integrity for the public.

"Happy National Press Day to all Indonesian media professionals. Long live the Indonesian Press, stay spirited in preserving Indonesia's integrity," she concluded.

Bastiar Riyanto, the head of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) in Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Province, emphasized the crucial role of the press in monitoring the national leadership transition. Additionally, he highlighted the press's responsibility to preserve unity amidst social polarization during the current political climate.

"Reporting on the 2024 elections must be calm, objective, balanced, and not biased towards any side because the press must remain neutral," he said.

However, he emphasized that the press must also remain critical. The press must act as a fact-checker amid the onslaught of hoaxes or fake news leading up to the 2024 elections.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/national-press-day-advocates-informed-voting-and-hoaxfree-election