Jayapura, Jubi – In Papua, the Press Freedom Index is quite low, with a rating of 64.01, lower than West Papua's index which is 68.22, says Hans Bisay, the chairman of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) Papua.
In a discussion that took place on Monday, October 30, 2023, at the Jubi Office in Perumnas II Waena, Jayapura City, Bisay conveyed that the low Press Freedom Index in Papua could be attributed to several factors. These include the region's lower economic indicators, weak law enforcement, with unresolved cases involving journalists, leading to a lack of justice for them.
Furthermore, there is limited coverage of disability-related issues, and the news often leans towards government-related topics, resulting in an imbalanced representation in the media.
Another contributing factor is that journalists receive salaries below the regional minimum wage, which hampers their ability to produce high-quality news and information for the public
"This financial constraint sometimes forces journalists to seek alternative professions that offer better compensation," said Bisay.
Additionally, much of the news published is heavily influenced by government activities, focusing predominantly on government-related matters. Some news are also profit-oriented.
Hans Bisay noted that there are two categories of journalists: those who diligently carry out their professional responsibilities in accordance with established guidelines, and those who utilize their roles as journalists to establish connections within the government, using it as a stepping stone for personal gain. (*)