Asking more from the media

Very relevant questions for the media when it comes to reporting the news on violence-related incidents in Indonesia. Are we all victims of bad reporting?
clipped from

As usual the article also mentioned the assumption that FPI had support from within the army and police – because this is a pattern which has been recognized in earlier attacks by Islam militia’s whenever the military was suspected of benefiting from destabilizing the country.

So far so good. I can’t blame the media reporting the news. And unfortunately good news is no news. But two questions remain and bother me.

What is the exact background of the incidents? What do we need to know in this part of the world to get at least some grip on these phenomena in Indonesia?

What is the impact of the reported disturbances? Is it of local, national or global importance? And if it happens to be of worldwide dimensions, why?

The way Indonesia is in the news now more often than not is not clarifying but rather puzzling.

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3 thoughts on “Asking more from the media

  1. I wrote something a while back about the government and the media, and how the government uses the media to throw off the people’s attention to what really matters. And now this, Indonesia being highlighted in the news around the world, not for our achievements but rather for the ridiculous and unthinkable acts committed in our country by underground organizations (mafias as i like to call them) with the government and police turning a blind eye.
    Saddens many of us, yet there are still no solutions, no real actions taken to better the conditions and worse, many people in the government, and even some lawmakers condone these acts. some of which said, “it wasn’t their fault, they were provoked. do not look at the end result, what they did was justifiable”
    That kind of statement is as ignorant as a person who says, “the woman raped was asking for it, she was wearing revealing clothes, those men were provoked into gang banging her”


  2. @Rima: Governments will do what governments do, which is to manipulate and – if they can get away with it – control the media. Its in their nature.

    Its up to the media to push back and insist on quality. Unfortunately most mainstream media these days are forced to be shallow and trite because of the insistence of editors to write shorter stories because of economic concerns.

    Which then drives people to the New Media if they want something more meaningful. It’s all a mess and until the mainstream media finds its equilibrium of providing quality news while remaining economically feasible, we all may have to suffer for a while yet.


  3. @ Unspun, All.

    Here’s the problem. There have been links betwen the FPI & the cops before. (The cops in ?2000? ferried them from the police station to Benhill, where they rampaged and ransacked).

    So report links (but cannot name names)? Or don’t report any links and miss a very likely cause of the story. The limits of sourcing mean alot of journos, including at places like the NYT get around it through innuendo, or at the best, quoting an analyst. “There have been links to the FPI in the past,” says Achmad, a ukuele player.

    * Importance of FPI-incident for the global story ? Can radical Islam flourish in a democracy ? Aren’t democracies supposed to be more tolerant ? Will SBY, the U.S. poster child for moderate Islam have the guts to crack down on this lawless militia ? Does democracy mean chaos and disorder in countries like Indonesia ?

    All these questions floating around in the ether, universities, or 6th para down, “background” graf on a wire story.


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