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AJI Jakarta warns journalists to maintain independence in election

  • News Desk
    News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, April 19, 2017 | 10:06 am
AJI Jakarta warns journalists to maintain independence in election Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama (left), Jakarta Military Commander Maj. Gen. Jaswandi (second left), Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. M Iriawan (second right) and deputy governor candidate Sandiaga Uno hold hands during the "Jakarta Election Peace Declaration" in Jakarta on Monday. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

The Jakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI Jakarta) has called on journalists and news media organizations reporting on the Jakarta gubernatorial election to uphold the journalistic code of ethics amid rampant unverified reports, fake news and smear campaigns circulating on social media.
“It is tempting to accept unconfirmed information in this era of tight media competition,” AJI Jakarta chairman Ahmad Nurhasim said in a statement on Wednesday.

Jakartans are heading to polling stations on Wednesday in the runoff election. The race between incumbent ticket Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama-Djarot Syaiful Hidayat and rival Anies Baswedan is very tight, according to pollsters.
Ahmad cited Article 1 of the Indonesian journalistic code of ethics stating that journalists must maintain their independence, produce accurate and balanced news items and avoid ill intention when producing journalistic items because journalists serve the interests of the public, not election candidates.

(Read also: Jakarta voters head to polls amid sectarian tension)

In addition, journalists act as watchdogs in elections. They must verify information and issues related to elections. Article 3 states that journalists must always verify information and publish reports in a balanced manner, not mix fact with opinion, and promote the principle of presumption of innocence.

“Journalists also should not report news based on prejudice or discrimination,” he said, citing Article 8, which states that journalists must not write or broadcast news based on prejudice or discrimination against someone based on differences in ethnicity, race, skin color, religion, gender or language and not undermine the rights of the poor, the sick and the disabled. (dis/bbs)

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