The inapt with a firm grasp of the obvious

This is a bizarre story by journalists quoting academics and a Press Council member on a matter that they muddled and am now muddying.

The matter concerned is SBY’s objection to journalists using a text message as a news source. The problem is that SBY, anal as he is, has a point.

The Press has been reporting about text messages purportedly from Nazaruddin that casts the President in a bad light. The problem is that the Press is so lazy they did not bother to trace the text message to source. Text messages are eminently traceable because they carry the time the message was text-ed.

To date no one is really wiser as to when, where or from whom the the text messages originated, only that therer are text messages floating about. Sure, SBY is being his usual whining self by complaining about the media covering about his party, but he is right in that the text messages or their sources have nort been verified. Talk to a journalist and he might say, ah but we know when and where it came from, although we chose not to write about it. Well, why the hell not? Isn’t good journalism about giving us the public enough information that we can decide what to trust and what not to?

But what do we get instead? Half baked journalism that is so bad that they need to rely on academics and the Press Council to tell everyone when a text message is is a valid source of news and when it is not, in short what the journalists are not practicing.

SBY opposes media strategy: Discussion

Dicky Christanto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 07/14/2011 7:20 PM A | A | A |

Media experts say instead of thanking the media for its role in democracy, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has opted to be critical by saying the media lacks credibility when using text messages as a news source.

“Yudhoyono may forget that a journalist is allowed to produce an article based on a text message, as long as they are convinced that the text message is from a reliable source,” Tjipta Lesmana, political communications professor at Pelita Harapan University, said in a discussion on Thursday.

Tjipta said it was assumed that a journalist would conduct proper verification before they used a text message in a story. “Police officers are able to conduct more thorough verification,” he said.

Agus Sudibyo of the Press Council also said in the discussion that a journalist could use a text message as a source if they did not manipulate the content and mentioned in the article that the information came from a text message.

“Law enforcers are tasked to investigate further if required. It is not the responsibility of journalists. This is the point the President has failed to comprehend,” he said.

In Yudhoyono’s latest remark, he said he could not understand why many media outlets used text messages claiming to be sent by Nazaruddin as a source.

The text messages unveiled controversial statements. Among other information was the statement that Nazaruddin was not the only one who had received bribe money. It said some high ranking Democratic Party officials, such as Anas Urbaningrum, Andi Malaranggeng and Marwan Amir, also did.


via SBY opposes media strategy: Discussion | The Jakarta Post.

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