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President concerned about use of foreign press' thinking framework

Antara News - February 13, 1997

Jakarta – President Soeharto on Wednesday expressed concern over some Indonesian journalists' way of using the framework of the foreign press in reporting the country's events.

"I call for a deeper re-examination of the values inherent to the foreign press' way of reporting events in Indonesia, "Soeharto said in his address commemorating the National Press Day.

He expressed regret that local journalists now frequently use the foreign framework in news reporting, which the president said could be used like spectacles.

"If the spectacles are coloured, then the domestic event, however clear, becomes coloured too," he said.

"The use of foreign spectacles has of late led to the dramatization of events, hasty decision-making, and imbalanced reporting about the country's events," he said.The use of "foreign spectacles" in reporting the country's events, the president stressed, does not consider the values of the Indonesian community.

"With the use of those unsuitable spectacles, it is understandable why many of our people have become nervous and restless in facing the development of changes," he said.

Soeharto later called for a better use of the journalists' professional code of ethics.

"With the code of ethics which is based on the state ideology Pancasila, I hope Indonesian journalists will become more professional while maintaining their identity," he said.