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Press Council rejects broadcasting law revisions banning investigative reports

Kompas.com - May 14, 2024

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The Press Council has declared its rejection of revisions to Law Number 32/2003 on Broadcasting that is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR).

Press Council Chairperson Ninik Rahayu explained that this rejection is because there are articles in the law that prohibit the media from broadcasting the results of investigative reports.

"Why then do we reject this? The first thing is that there is an article that prohibits investigative media", she said during a press conference at the Press Council office in Central Jakarta on Tuesday May 14.

Rahayu said this article was contrary to Law Number 40/1999 on the Press, which does not recognise censorship or prohibitions on the broadcasting of quality journalistic works.

The prohibition on investigative broadcasts is seen as an effort to prohibit professional journalistic work. Rahayu also said that the second reason the Press Council rejects the revisions is because the broadcasting bill removes the Press Council's authority to resolve press disputes.

"The resolution (of press disputes) will actually be carried out by an institution that actually does not have a mandate for the ethical resolution of journalistic works", said Rahayu.

The mandate for resolving press disputes is currently regulated by the Press Council and contained in the Press Law.

"Why in this draft is the resolution of disputes related to journalism actually handed over to [Indonesian] Broadcasting [Commission]? Yes, this will really lead to resolution methods that are not in accordance with existing legal norms, that's more or less our note [of concern]", she asserted.

The airing of exclusive investigative journalism is prohibited in the latest draft of the broadcasting bill or the March 2024 version.

Aside from investigative journalism, 10 broadcast types and content are also prohibited because they do not comply with the rules on Broadcast Content Standards (SIS). This provision is contained in Article 50B Paragraph (2).

Among other things, it is prohibited to broadcast content containing mystical elements, supernatural healing, as well as the negative engineering of information and entertainment through broadcasting institutions or digital platforms.

Then, it is also prohibited to air broadcast content that is subjective regarding political interests related to the owners and/or managers of broadcasting institutions and operators of digital broadcasting platforms.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Dewan Pers Tolak Revisi UU Penyiaran karena Melarang Media Investigasi".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2024/05/14/18101711/dewan-pers-tolak-revisi-uu-penyiaran-karena-melarang-media-investigas