The latest (2011/12) Press Freedom Index has just been released and it notable that I have not read about it in any local or English Indonesian news outlet.
Indonesia sadly has slipped to 146th more than 10 places compared to last years index and one of the worst in ASEAN behind Vietnam.
Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines among others in ASEAN have a better ranking than we do despite the belief that they are restricted and we have a free press.
To see where we sit globally here is an extract of those above and below us. To read the the full report and see the full list of rankings follow the link – Thanks to Reporters Without Boarders, which BTW is an organisation that Indonesia is trying to oust possibly even ban along with groups such as Greenpeace and other international NGO’s.
For those of us who comment on other news boards such as the SG we cannot help but notice a shift in emphasis away from factual and critical news reporting and analysis and towards sinetron news. This I am sad to say is a theme through most mainstream news media in Indonesia with the exception of the Islamic Media outlets such as Muslim Daily who in contrast seem to be pushing ever more and with tacit support from the government for Islamic values underpinned by Shariah – oddly whilst ignoring much of the disgraceful actions carried out by those professing the faith.
The SG, Tempo, Post, Kompas, Repulika and many others seem to be going out of their way not to be controversial, especially when condemning either the government, police/TNI and Islam, both generally and the rise in radicalism. In fact the opposite may be true whereby they have entered a period of social conditioning, thus feeding the nations insatiable lust for Nationalism whilst ignoring the rampant issues of corruption, greed and extremism.
The question for debate is simply:
Is the Press being Gagged or Are We seeing a Shift in Policy in which they are Complicit?