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I hold no grudge against the press: Jokowi

Jakarta Post - February 21, 2024

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Tuesday that he took harsh criticism from the media in his stride and he respected the media's opposition to some of his political moves leading up to the Feb. 14 general election.

Speaking during a gathering for National Press Day, President Jokowi, who will wrap up his second and final term on Oct. 20 this year, said he respected media freedom even when some of the harsh tone and criticism had taken a personal toll on him.

"My face has been modified with some strange effects and it has appeared on the cover of magazines [...] I often get complaints from my grandson, who asks why my face has become so ugly," Jokowi said in off-the-cuff remarks to a gathering of journalists at a venue in Ancol, North Jakarta.

The President said that he had made no efforts to challenge the negative coverage as he respected the independence of the press.

"This is part of my respect for media freedom, freedom of expression and freedom of speech," Jokowi said.

In the lead-up to the presidential election on Feb. 14, the national media published critical coverage of efforts by the President to influence the outcome of the election, including his decision to allow his son Gibran Rakabuming Raka to run as vice presidential candidate alongside Prabowo Subianto.

The media had also been critical of his moves to expand the welfare program for the poor, which was widely seen as a pork-barrel strategy by the outgoing President.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/02/21/i-hold-no-grudge-against-the-press-jokowi.htm