President Joko Widodo Hopes the Press Builds Public Optimism
President Joko Widodo said that we are lucky living in the era of the freedom of the press where every day we are flooded with various information, opinion, and data.
All of us can see how easy we get news and information. Sometimes a personal status in social media can be circulated as news. Some of news are bitter, like herbal medicine, but some of them are like vitamin that can make us healthy. However, those can also harm our mental health, the President said when delivering a remarks at the peak Commemoration of National Press Day in Kuta Beach, Mandalika Special Economic Zone, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, on Tuesday (9/2) morning.
The President expects all members of the press can build public optimism, the peoples work ethics, as well as the peoples productivity. Not the contrary. Sometimes, our media influences us to be pesimistic and we are trapped in sensational news, he said.
The President mentioned an example of a news that predicts Indonesia will collapse. There was also a news reporting all people are pesimistic Indonesia will achieve the target of economic growth. Moreover, there was a news which headline was the Government failed, act of terror can not be destroyed.
There are more bad headlines, the President added, such as The problem of smoke can not be solved, Riau asks for independence. There is even a worse news Indonesia will collapse, Rupiah goes through 15,000, Jokowi-JK will go down, the President said.
According to the President, if the press continues to make these kind of headlines, it will bring pessimism. It will also cause bad work ethics as well as unproductive things, whereas those headlines are just assumptions.
President Joko Widodo also criticized the television stations that rarely play national anthem/songs, such as Indonesia Raya, Padamu Negeri, Garuda Pancasila, etc. They play it after midnight, not in prime time.
I just imagine, every hour our national songs or our national anthem, like Indonesia Raya, Padamu Negeri, and Garuda Pancasila are played. It is very good, so that our children from Sabang to Merauke will memorize our national songs, the President said.
The President admitted that all television stations are prioritizing the rating. However, some of the time slot can be given to play those songs, he said.
The President reminded that in this competition era, we need to build trust. He asserted that with trust, capital and investment will enter Indonesia.
We will get capital and investment if we are trusted. If we are not, do not expect for the money, investment, or capital, the President said while mentioning that it is the press that can build the trust because the image appears due to our news.
The President also highlighted the speed to make a news, especially in online media. He admitted that he always read, particularly when he is in the car or the plane. He criticized the news that violates journalistic ethics. Since the journalist wants to make a news a soon as possible, the news become inaccurate and imbalance. Facts and opinions are mixed up and sometimes the news is judgemental. It is very dangerous, the President said.
According to the President, previously the pressure was from the Government, but now it is the press that gives pressure to the Government. Long time ago, when the Government gave pressure, the press would produce good news. Now, it is the media that gives pressure to the Government. But who does suppress the press? I think it is the press itself because of competition, the President said. This kind of pressure shall be avoided so that we can build trust.
The President hopes the press can be trusted by the public as the pilar of our democracy, by providing an honest, accurate, and objective information and giving a space for the voice and thoughts of the people.
The Commemoration was also attended by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Resources Rizal Ramli, Minister of Home Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara, and Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki.