The Jakarta Globe has been interesting to watch since its birth in 2008, beginning with an idealism to start a quality newspaper against a trend of dropping readership in printed dailies.
Unspun was skeptical of the paper’s success from the start, a view that won him few friends in the startup paper then. But Unspun began to have a kinder view of the paper after it hired veteran journalist Bhimanto Suwastoyo from AFP to be the managing editor. Bhim, apart from being a friend, is known and respected in journalism for his knowledge and his management and training of young journalists.Together with veteran journalists David Plott and Lin Neuman, they had a team who were capable of putting out a good paper.
The Globe then had a good run, and at one point seemed a better paper than the established The Jakarta Post.
Then things began to slide.
The paper was using too much money and they began to lay off its editors. It hit a new low when it ran an editorial on Lady Gaga. It was around then that Unspun, who had switched subscribing from the Post to the Globe, switched back to the lesser calamity.
The rest is history. More journalists were laid off and The Jakarta Globe accelerated in its sad and slow decline. Today it is a parody of a newspaper especially with its ridiculous new format. It is pathetically thin and its layout is meant to mimic its website, with photographs and news in panels tiled on a page. In other pages its mostly ripped off wires with the token “own reporting” from the Berita Satu Group. Apparently the remaining journalists there tried to tell the owners that it looked horrible and wouldn’t work but the bosses were in no mood to listen.
Part of the reason for this format is because the Riadys who own it think, not necessarily erroneously, that the future is online. That may be true but online or off, what ultimately marks the organisation as a news institution would be the quality of its journalism. There is little evidence that the online version today matches the quality of its stories in the printed version’s glory days.
The Jakarta Globe’s printed version today looks so miserable that it might as well be dead. Anyone who cares about journalism would want to put it down for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. No paper that once gave the leading English daily in Indonesia a run for their money should be allowed to continue to exist in such a zombie-like state.
Unspun’s been a follower of the Globe’s birth, rise and fall all these years and there’s not much point writing more about it except perhaps to catalogue the previous posts in this blog that charts a rough history of the paper that has ceased to exist, in roughly chronological order:
Riyadi looking for journos for his new paper
One more English-language daily in Indonesia
The Jakarta Globe spins slowly
AFP’s loss, Jakarta Globe’s gain
Percolating thoughts about Post, Globe and the Malaysian blogosphere
The Post prepares to strike back
Jakarta Globe 9; Jakarta Post 0
One step forward for Post, one step back for Globe?
An active and mixed year so far for Lippo group
9 Indonesian media houses laying off staff
The Globe blazes a path in intellectual parrying
The beginning of the end of the Globe?
Did The Jakarta Globe’s editorial go gaga over Lady Gaga?
The Jakarta Globe mounts a defensive commentary on its Lady Gaga editorial
Sad to see! But was very proud to be a Globian during its heyday (I was there 2008-10–I left before the most dramatic changes took place). It was a stylish paper, a wonderful newsroom to work in, full of talented and fun people, and a great learning experience. Many fond memories. The paper really did some strong work in those early years and invested in training up young journalists who continue to do wonderful work at various media outlets in Indonesia.
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It’s very sad! I cut my teeth as a journalist at the Jakarta Globe.
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Apparently we share a similar sentiment towards Jakarta Globe’s death. I have to say, the comrades over there are screwed with the ridiculous layout, and QR code everywhere (what’s the point of reading a paper when we have to access the internet for the full story. idiotic)
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sad to know that info…
Sangat di sayangkan dgn kematian jakarta globe…hrsnya berita lebih fresh yg di sajikannya.
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