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Broadcasting Bill: Indonesia must not regress to dark ages, observer says

Tempo - May 27, 2024

Amelia Rahima Sari, Jakarta – A political communication observer from Esa Unggul University, M. Jamiluddin Ritonga, said the Broadcasting Bill must be rejected if it deviates from the principle of press freedom.

"Indonesia must not regress to the dark ages where the ruling regime castrated press freedom," he said in his official statement on Monday, May 27, 2024.

He believed that continuing the revision of Broadcasting Law No. 32 of 2002 requires the exclusion of articles in conflict with freedom of the press. Meaning, that the articles banning the broadcast of investigative journalism must be revoked.

According to Jamiluddin, investigative journalism is part of the social control needed in a democracy. "So the elimination of investigative reporting is akin to suppressing press freedom, which is not in line with the constitution and the mandate of Reformation," said Jamiluddin.

The former Dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences, Institute of Social and Political Sciences Jakarta also highlighted another potentially problematic article in the Broadcasting Bill. One of the articles concerns the efforts to transfer some of the Press Council's duties to the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission or KPI.

According to Jamiluddin, the article deviates from Press Law No. 40 of 1999 which states that the Press Council handles the issues regarding journalistic products. "Apart from giving rise to dualism, it also does not fulfill the effective and efficient principles of establishing an institution," he said.

Jamiluddin said that the Broadcasting Bill must limit its regulatory scope within broadcasting to avoid ruling over matters outside of it. The revision of the Broadcasting Law must limit the scope of broadcasting. The Legislative Board must regulate the definition of broadcasting within the Bill, he said.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1872630/broadcasting-bill-indonesia-must-not-regress-to-dark-ages-observer-say