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Update 20 Jan 2008: the President-to-be of the JFCC sms’d Unspun to say that the Friendster account apparently under his name and visage is actually not his but of someone else, probably some freak without a life. Could it be a Jason wannabe? Or one of his admirers? Anyone with the tech savvy to find out who’s behind that Friendster account?
It looks like the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club will have new leadership this year with Time Magazine’s Jason Tedjasukmana being the sole nominee for president when the club votes for its office bearers on January 24th. He would replace John Aglionby who writes for jakartaJava Kini and The Financial Time who’s served two terms.
Jason recently turned 40 and marked the passing of his 30s with a rather interesting party in Kemang. Jason’s Friendster account has this to say of himself : “Settled and young executives – intelligence & outgoing personality – trendy – ambitious and love my family.”
President: Jason Tedjaksumana (Time)
Vice President: (Anthony Deutsch (AP)
Treasurer: (Devi Asmarani (Straits Times)
Secretary: Rebecca Henschke (Radio 68H)
Ordinary members (in alphabetical order):
Karima Anjani (Bloomberg)
Ed Davies (Reuters)
Angus Grigg (Australian Financial Review)
Jan Lepeltak (De Volkskrant)
Michel Maas (De Telegraaf)
The Lippo Group is increasing its reach into the Indonesian media scene, this time by launching a English-language business daily, Unspun‘s sources say. The paper is to be called The Globe and it will be manned by heavy hitters from regional publications.
The Globe is a follow up from the English-language business magazine the group launched in January called Globe Asia. The magazine, which seems to specialize in compiling lists of the rich and the powerful – Indonesia’s richest, 50 largest philantropists, Indonesia’s most powerrful women etc. etc. – has apparently doing quite well even though you’d be hard pressed to read a hard hitting story in its pages.
With the Globes, the Lippo Group would have made itself even more powerful in the media industry. They already own Investor Daily, Suara Pembaruan (which makes them part owners of The jakarta Post), Investor Magazine, View and Kabelvision, Direct Vision, and First Media among others.
You wonder why the groups is so in love with the media and to what ends this ownership will be put to use on.
Nevertheless, it will be a welcome addition to the English-language media in Indonesia. For too long th field has been dominated by The Jakarta Post, which has become arrogant and lazy in its monopoly, so much so that most of its journalists would not recognize a good story if it came up and bit them on the bum.
The last challenger was The Point but that paper just can’t get its editorial and circulation acts together so it never posed any threats to the Post’s dominance. With regional heavy hitters coming into the fray, and the Riadys’ deep pockets The Globe may at last give the Post a run for its money. One can only hope it does and force the Post to eat some humble pie for a change.
Traditionally the hacks do it with a farewell pissup but Claire, who’s been in Jakarta for many years, and a teetotaler, is choosing to do hers with raising money for a cause.Been fun to have had her in Jakarta as she’s one hell of a business journo. We’ll all miss you Claire. Good luck.
My journo friend Qvut recently pointed out How the mighty are fallen in Murdoch’s successful bid to buy the Wall Street Journal.Now he points me to an article in China Rises. Remember how back in May seven of the Wall Street’s foreign correspondents based in China wrote a public letter to protest Murdoch’s bid to buy the paper?
Then they said that “Murdoch has a well-documented history of making editorial decisions in order to advance his business interests in China and, indeed, of sacrificing journalistic integrity to satisfy personal or political aims.”
Well, twice more than 28 days or so later, the Journal is proving these journalists wrong? Or is it only so much spin?
Unspun‘s friend Qvut is a journalism refugee.
As someone who cares about journalism, he’s watched with dismay how journalism standards have deteriorated over the past few years as newspapers struggle, and mostly fail, to come to terms with a world shaped by technological forces. So he’s left journalism to do other more worthwhile things in his life.
This does not stop him from musing at the goings on in the journalistic world though and lately Unspun has be regaled by his rants about the Wall Street Journal and its sale to Rupert Murdoch.
His take is this:
The caterwauling about Murdoch’s takeover of Dow Jones, particularly the Journal has been extremely disingenuous. All this breast beating and self-mortification over Murdoch’s takeover is a bit over the top.
The Journal, for Heaven’s sakes, is only a newspaper and a not-particularly well-managed one at that. In Asia especially, the paper has been in terminal decline for the past decade due to budget-driven staff cuts. These have made the paper basically irrelevant for much of Asia, outside of the overwhelming China-centric nature of its coverage.
As an example, the Journal left Indonesia, S.E. Asia’s largest economy and home to the world’s largest Muslim population, virtually uncovered for more than a year after a correspondent departed due to medical reasons. The Journal has also never covered East Timor first-hand over the past two years of turmoil despite the fact that ET is about to become a major regional oil and gas exporter. Too far from China to be of any interest, the Journal picked up ET copy from the Washington Post.
So there is little journalistic integrity or excellence to loose even if Murdoch is who they demonize him to be, the Kali-like Destroyer of Newspapers.
Speaking of integrity, a group of the Journal’s reporters based in China/Hong Kong signed and sent a public letter in May decrying Murdoch’s takeover attempt and threatened to actually resign if his acquisition came to pass. The letter also asserted that Murdoch will inevitably interfere with editorial decisions and blunt sharpish coverage of China, where Murdoch has ingratiated himself with the leadership to further his corporate expansion into the Chinese market.
Now that Murdoch has bought over the Journal it would be interesting to see if the Journal reporters that were so full of righteous indignation and integrity carry out their threats.
If they don’t then it is an indictment of the pre-Murdoch Journal, particularly its “Asian” edition as the party that could only talk-the-talk. Murdoch, for all his faults, walks-the-walk. For that he deserves the laurel leaves for humbling the poseurs.
Unspun, who’s ranted against the Journal before, thinks Qvut has a point.
After years of drinking in public waterholes, the foreign correspondents in Jakarta may at last have their own clubhouse in which they can drink copious amounts of alcohol cheap, bore each other senseless with their latest exploits in Papua , Aceh or the Indonesian bureaucracy amid a following of diplomatic and NGO-type groupies and, Unspun supposes, PR types.
The latest indication of this is a e-mail notice of an EGM sent out yesterday to Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club (JFCC) members (below). Unspun understands, however, that negotiations are still on between them and said businessmen, who’s a friend of Jason T.
The businessman will probably fund the clubhouse in exchange for the naming rights of the bar or the clubhouse lounge after his product. Not a bad deal all round if it means a decent watering hole that does not charge exorbitant rates as the current one for foreign hacks. The email message:
The Executive Committee is in discussions with a businessman that might lead to the opening of a JFCC clubhouse and secretariat. In order to realise this project, article 3 of the constitution, on limitations, needs to be amended.
If the project proceeds it would be a major and exciting development for the club, greatly enhancing our effectiveness and raising our profile in the city. For that reason, the committee believes it is crucial to pass this amendment – the details of which are below.
These proposals will be voted on at an Extraordinary General Meeting which will be held at Face Bar, La Na Thai restaurant at 7.15pm on Thursday 19 July, during the Third Thursday mixer.
Only foreign journalist members are entitled to vote. If you are unable to attend, please give your proxy to someone who intends to be present. Absentee ballots are also allowed. Both of these can be done by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org the name of the person you wish to be your proxy or whether you wish to vote for or against the amendments.
Furthermore, the executive committee has noticed one technical inconsistency in the constitution and would like to clarify how the constiution can be amended. We will be taking the opportunity of this meeting to make these two further amendments (details below).
We look forward to seeing you next Thursday
The Executive Committee
This is circulating among the jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club members:
One of our journalist members is seeking an Indonesian reporter to work full time. Previous experience is required, as well as a very good knowledge of Indonesia’s political and business environments. A good level of English is also desirable. Main duties would include market and company research and building company profiles. Salary is $800 U.S. per month.
Interested parties can send their CV to email@example.com to arrange an interview.
Unspun supposes that if you have to write for a living, the last thing you want to do outside work is to write.
This must be the case with the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club, which sent this mesage to its members today:
The Scribbler is BACK — and this time we want you to go on assignment for us!
After a short hiatus, the JFCC’s newsletter is returning to keep you updated on club news, events, and pass along amazing stories from the nation. If you discovered a new species of bird the last time you were in Ujong Kulong, swam with a blue whale in Banda Sea or had an amusing experience with an Indonesian civil servant, now is your chance to let the whole community know.
We are also very eager to hear about your experiences reporting and working in the world’s largest archipelago. If you want to Tell AND Show, feel free to include a photograph or two. So please file stories as often as you can to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for the next Sribbler is May 20th.
So would-be writers and aspiring journos, this may be your chance to shine.
Two journalist-related events tomorrow, World Press Freedom Day:
The first is an invite from the BBC to attend a vigil for BBC reporter Alan Johnston who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. The vigil will be at Taman Suropati in Menteng and starts 6.30pm. Johnston was in Indonesia two years ago to help train Indonesian journalists. For details on the event see here. Details on Alan Johnston read here.
The second event is held by the Indonesian Journalists Association (AJI). They will stage a Press Freedom Award 2007 ceremony and “oration on press freedom” tomorrow (May 3) at Hotel Santika on Jalan Tubun between 10am and noon.
The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club says this event should be fascinating for anyone interested in learning more about this country from a man who has spent decades studying the world’s largest archipelago.
Director Lawrence Blair has made 15 films and documentaries on Indonesia. This is a once-only opportunity to see these four short documentaries made by him.
Lawrence will attend the screening and take questions.
For a review of the film, go to this link
Those wanting tickets can contact Ida, the JFCC administrative assistant, on