09.05.2018 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO launches global reports on World Press Freedom Day 2018 in Jakarta

©UNESCO Jakarta

Jakarta, 8 May. In conjunction with the World Press Freedom Day 2018, UNESCO Jakarta and the Indonesian Press Council organized a joint event to launch three new publications that focus on freedom of expression, cultural diversity, and freedom of the press.

The three reports, namely the “2018 World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media”, the Indonesian translation of the “Re|Shaping Cultural Policies: Advancing Creativity for Development”,  and the “Indonesian Press Freedom Index” were launched in a ceremony with the participation of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, the Ministry of Education and Culture as well as the Embassy of Sweden in Jakarta.

“Artistic freedom and freedom of expression are strongly interconnected,” said Ms. Moe Chiba, on behalf of Director of UNESCO Jakarta, at the opening session. She also stated that UNESCO has brought these topics to the forefront of global policy debate through events such as the World Press Freedom Day. While acknowledging the various positive development, Ms. Chiba also noted that it is important to think about the challenges even as we celebrate the progress.

Echoing similar sentiment, Mr. Hendry Ch Bangun, on behalf the Indonesian Press Council, also noted that while in Indonesia, press freedom is generally moving in the positive direction, there is still a “deficit in terms of freedom for” and that there are some concerns regarding editorial independence and the welfare of journalists in the country.

H.E. Johanna Brismar-Skoog, Ambassador for Sweden in Indonesia, said that she is very happy that Indonesia’s ranking in press freedom is the highest in the region but cautioned we should not let our guard down as “democracy is not given, it is something we should work on”.  The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) supported both the UNESCO reports.

Linking freedom of expression to creative industries, H.E. Mr. Farid Hilmar, the Director-General for Culture and on behalf of the Minister of Education and Culture, pointed out that there will be more initiatives building on the on 2005 convention in the coming year where the Ministry will “bring creative activities to the rural areas”.

H.E. Mr. Rudiantara, Minister of Communications and Informatics, reiterated that freedom of expression is part of fundamental human rights  enjoyed by everyone in Indonesia and that the relationship between government and media is very important.

Later, the joint launch of the three publications was officiated by the guest speakers through a signing ceremony of special poster to signify the joint collaboration by different parties.

The event, which attracted 120 participants, was followed by two panel discussions. The morning discussion focused on the issues of press freedom, pluralism, independence, and safety of journalists in the region. Mr. Hendry CH Bangun, Secretary-General of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI), Ms. Ati Nurbaiti, Journalist & Member of Alliance of Independent Journalist, Ms. Jyoti Panday, Asia Policy Fellow of Electronic Frontier foundation (EFF), and Prof. Gati Gayatri,  Head of Communication Literacy & Human Resources Development were experts speakers on the panel moderated by Ms. Yulia Supadmo, Chief Editor of RTV.

The afternoon session discussed the profound influence of media on the culture of the peoples. The discussants included Ms. Dewi Setyarini, Commissioner of Indonesian Broadcasting Commission; Mr. Charles Vallerand, former Director-General of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity; Ms. Klara Esti, Research Associate at the Centre for Innovation Policy and Governance (CIPG); Mr. Heru Hendratmoko, Chairman of KBR Radio News Agency. The moderator was Prof. Moehammad Aman Wirakartakusumah, Rector of Universitas Siswa Bangsa International.

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