justified rap on knuckles or a threat on Press Freedom?

Update: Politikana.com has carried a story with a screen grab of the original Jakarta Globe story. It also questions why Okezone had retracted its story and issued an apology to SBY and his son when the story was balanced because Democrat party and presidential spokesperson Andi Mallarangeng had been asked about it and he had given their side of the story. The story was therefore balanced, he said.

It now appears that what The Powers that Be were chagrined about was more the headline of the Jakarta Globe story rather than the text. Perhaps this is why the Jakarta Globe’s website has still retained the story, but changed the headline from “SBY’s son accused of vote buying” (see screengrab in politicana.com) to this (still visible early this morning):


A much tamer headline. So does this mean that the Powers that Be were unhappy with the headline but have no objections to the text? So who is this Power that Be that called in Lin and Wim? And presumeably Okezone? Was it done with SBY’s knowledge or was it a personal rogue initiative?

Earlier Unspun had written:

Short post because my IM2 is sucking big time.

Okezone has apologized to President SBY and his son Edhie for lifting a story from the Jakarta Globe alleging that Edhie and the son of a lawmaker had engaged in vote buying.

The news portal said there was no truth to the report and apologized to the President and his son.

Earlier, Twitters and Facebookers were busy spreading the news that Globe chief editor Lin Neuman had been summoned to the Istana over the story.

An editor at the Globe would only say that Lin was not summoned to the Istana, but would not comment on whether he had been summoned by any government official.

Unspun’s sources said that not only Lin but editor in chief Wim Tangkilisan had been summoned to the meeting with a government official.

Earlier Facebookers had commented that this was a case of infringement on the press freedoms that Indonesia enjoys. Increasingly however it looks like a justified rap on the knuckles for the Globe in carrying a story of such gravity about so prominent person without the proper facts to back up the allegation solidly. (Hmmm. Unspun‘s conclusion here may not be quite correct. See update above.)

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