Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Peak Event of the 2023 National Press Day at the Multipurpose Building of the Government of North Sumatra Province, Percut Sei Tuan Subdistrict, Deli Serdang Regency, North Sumatra Province, February 9, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 9 Februari 2023
Category: Remarks @en
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Good morning,

May peace be upon us all,


Om swastiastu,

Namo buddhaya,

Greetings of Virtue.

Distinguished heads and leaders of state institutions, Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly,

Distinguished Ministers of the Onward Indonesia Cabinet,

Distinguished ambassadors of friendly countries,

Distinguished Governor of North Sumatra and other governors, regents, and mayors in attendance,

Distinguished Head of the Press Council Ninik Rahayu and all members of the Press Council management board,

Distinguished Head of the Indonesian Journalists Association Atal S. Depari and all management board members,

Distinguished Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces, Chief of the Indonesian National Police, and all chiefs of staff in attendance; the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force Chiefs of Staff,

Distinguished media key figures, journalists,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, on behalf of the people, on behalf of the Government, let me wish all Indonesian journalists wherever you are a happy press day. Let me also thank the national media for your contribution to the nation and the state.

Since the beginning, the media have made great contribution to voicing the struggle for independence, voicing development innovations, and supporting democratization. I have had a meaningful personal experience with the press since I became a mayor, a governor, and a president. I am always accompanied by journalists everywhere I go, be it to villages, to markets, to fishers’ villages. It has been proven that media crews have made opportunities for commoners like me; I became a president.

Distinguished journalists,

At this celebration of the National Press Day, I would like to say that the media industry is not doing so well. Once again, the media industry is not doing so well. Back then, the major issue of the global media was the freedom of press. It was all that we fought for. Does the major issue remain the same? I think it does not because we have never had as much freedom as we do now.

The press nowadays includes all information media that can be available in a digital form. Everyone has freedom to create news. In my view, the current major issue is producing responsible journalism because the society experiences an overload of news from social media and other digital media, including foreign platforms. In general, the news is not moderated or it is controlled by AI. Digital giants’ algorithms tend to prioritize only the commercial aspect and will only boost petty, sensational content, which is large in number and sacrifices the quality of content and authentic journalism. This is what we will miss more and more. This should not dominate the life of our society. Conventional media that moderate news will face more pressure in news reporting.

Second, the conventional media industry will face a difficult challenge in terms of sustainability. I have heard a lot about this, including that at least 60 percent of advertisement spending allocation is dominated by digital media, especially foreign platforms. This is bad news. Thus, last night while eating durian, I invited several media figures to talk about this issue.

As you may know, Minister of Communications and Informatics has just proposed an initiative about a draft of Presidential Regulation on cooperation of digital platform companies with media companies to support quality journalism. However, there is another proposal about a draft of Presidential Regulation on responsibility of digital platform companies to support quality journalism.

I suggest that a meeting is held and within one month, the Presidential Regulations must be completed. It must not take more than one month. I will attend some of the deliberations about this.

Once again, approximately 60 percent of advertisement budget is spent for digital media, especially foreign platforms. What does it mean? Conventional media’s financial resources will continue to drop. Several [conventional media] have levelled up to digital media. However, the domination of foreign platforms in advertisement spending has caused difficulty for local media.

Third, we all must also pay attention to data sovereignty and security. Data is the new oil that is very invaluable and data controllers are able to not only understand the society’s habits and behaviors but also control their preference by utilizing algorithm. This is what we all have to be cautious about. This matter should be our common concern. Be careful and stay vigilant about this.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Amidst this sort of situation, mainstream media are needed to be a clearinghouse of information. It is crucial that they serve as a clearinghouse of information, provide verified information, and play their role in voicing hope for the society. The main role of the media is increasingly important to amplify the trust and uncover facts, especially in the viciousness of the post-truth, post-fact world. Mainstream media are expected to maintain and uphold their mission to find the truth, to search the truth, and to build optimism. Therefore, I urge all parties, including central and regional government agencies, state-owned enterprises, private companies, and non-governmental organizations to support the existence of mainstream media.

To exist sustainably, mainstream media must certainly come up with innovations, be adaptive to technology, and take strategic measures. However, mass media must not be left alone. The Government and all stakeholders must provide support.

Finally, as we enter a political year, mass media must stick to idealism, be objective, and not slip into polarization. The media must support the organization of clean and fair 2024 elections and strengthen Indonesia’s unity. Mass media must remain the fourth pillar of democracy and the main reference for the public in obtaining information.

That concludes my statement.

I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.


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