No doubt Metta deserves to be given the Udin award but what a strange citation – it is as if Metta won the award primarily for what happened to him and his publication after his story is printed.

Unspun is sure that something must have been left out in the news story clipped below. Surely Metta won the prize for his hard work, enterprise in uncovering information, careful double checking of facts, writing style and courage to forge ahead in spite of the likely consequences of publishing?

clipped from
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has awarded Metta Dharmasaputra of Tempo magazine the prestigious Udin Award for uncovering an alleged tax embezzlement by one of the country’s top palm oil producers, PT Asian Agri.

The award, given for exceptional contribution to press freedom, was presented by Vice President Jusuf Kalla during AJI’s 14th anniversary celebration in Jakarta on Tuesday night.

Metta was chosen for the award by a panel of judges consisting of The Jakarta Post chief editor Endy Bayuni, Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) executive director Usman Hamid and Press Council chairman Abdullah Alamudi.

“His story in Tempo Magazine on an alleged tax evasion by Asian Agri has led him into a tough situation. His cellular phone was tapped, he was terrorized, the magazine he works for is sued for Rp 5 billion (US$545,000). The case is now still in trial,” Endy said as quoted by Antara news agency.
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