Recognizing that existing rules have yet to accommodate the full scope of dynamics facing online journalists, a newly established association plans to create a new set of ethical guidelines.
The Online Journalist Association (IWO) announced on Wednesday that it would create a code of ethics for online journalists by the year end.
“We hope the rules will also eradicate the problems of professionalism that occasionally trouble online journalists,” one of the association founders, Iskandar Sitorus, said in Jakarta.
Iskandar referred to journalists who prioritize the speed of their work while neglecting basic journalistic principles.
According to a survey released by the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), online media accounted for the largest share of news that violated journalistic principles, such as verification and accuracy, in covering the recent Jakarta gubernatorial election.
In addition to the upcoming guidelines, IWO chairman Budhi Chandra said the organization would also provide training and advocacy, particularly for online media contributors.
“As more citizens rely on online media, the rights of the online journalists need to be protected,” said Budhi, one of IWO’s co-founders and owner of jurnalfoto.com.
Budhi went on to say that online journalists faced difficulties in making ends meet financially.
“In reality, the contributors are paid less than what they deserve. Some contributors were paid a merely Rp 15,000 [US$1.58] per article or photo,” he said.
IWO was initiated by Iskandar, owner of kawanbisnis.com, Witanto, owner of penaone.com and Budhi, and its members include journalists from mainstream online media outlets. (yps)