We read the news every day but how much do we know about the editors behind the news? What informs their thinking and decisions? At Maverick we decided to find out about this important group of people the good old-fashioned way, by actually talking to them.

Here, published in Maverick’s blog, we talk to Arif Budisusilo who helms Indonesia’s most important business publication, Bisnis Indonesia. We found that he has very original views about nationalism and national interest, among other things.

My thanks to Iwan Kurniawan for coming up with the idea of interviewing the literal newsmakers, and also Nurniyati who was in the media relations team but has left for greener pastures in Singapore, for coming up with the idea and making things happen.

Arif Budisusilo of Bisnis Indonesia: National Interest over Nationalism – Maverick Indonesia

Last year, when the Rupiah was falling alarmingly and Indonesia’s economy looked increasingly shaky, Bisnis Indonesia chief editor Arif Budisusilo was confronted by a young reporter who felt that the nation’s premier business newspaper was being too pro-Government. “’What’s with our coverage? Are we speaking on behalf of the Government? Have we been given projects by the Government? The young reporter demanded to know,” said Arif, who’s also known as AB, the first two syllables of his full name. The young reporter was indignant because he felt that Bisnis Indonesia had not been critical enough in its reporting of the government’s handling of the economy. Then, explained AB, Bisnis Indonesia had adopted the policy that it is to no one’s benefit if all it did was report on the anxiety, fear and pessimism felt by businesspeople. “If we did just that, then all we would do is to make businesses more anxious and worsen the situation.”

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