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How quake caught Palu off guard
National
How quake caught Palu off guard

Former mayor Rusdy Mastura remains lost in thought about the great loss of human lives — 2,000 deaths and 5,000 missing souls — in the wake of the Sept. 28 quake in Central Sulawesi that devastated what was his area of jurisdiction, Palu.

Putting quakes on spatial maps
National
Putting quakes on spatial maps

The 7.4-magnitude earthquake that wrought devastation in Central Sulawesi on Sept. 28 was a scientific prophecy that came true. Armed with evidence of similar catastrophes in the area more than a century ago, scientists had warned of a potential tectonic calamity years before the monstrous quake struck, triggering a tsunami and land liquefaction.

Caution greets ‘zero down payment’ housing program
National
Caution greets ‘zero down payment’ housing program

Group reporting is a writing assignment for candidate journalists of The Jakarta Post. It is part and parcel of a two-month workshop organized for the Post’s cub reporters. A total of six candidates have completed their group reporting and writing assignments. The following are their journalistic products.

On garbage, Jakarta looks beyond landfills
National
On garbage, Jakarta looks beyond landfills

Jakarta’s fury over the multi trillion rupiah in garbage disposal fees sought by its neighbor Bekasi should serve as a hard lesson to expedite the capital city’s overdue effort to reform its primitive, costly waste management system, which relies on a single landfill. Our reporters Vela Andapita and Safrin La Batu analyze the prospect of the modern waste treatment facilities Jakarta is soon to build.

Why is food self-sufficiency unachievable?
National
Why is food self-sufficiency unachievable?

Governments have come and gone but none has managed to lead Indonesia, which once prided itself as an agrarian nation, to self-sufficiency in food as it has always aspired. It was only in 1984 under then-president Soeharto that Indonesia made the dream come true before it slid back into the jaws of insufficiency. Presidential candidates Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto have both raised the contentious issue on their campaign trails. The Jakarta Post writers Safrin La Batu and Pandaya explore what stands in the way of the country’s effort to end its reliance on food imports.

Red tape hinders Lombok reconstruction
National
Red tape hinders Lombok reconstruction

Still nursing the wounds from recent devastating quakes, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is rebuilding as tens of thousands of traumatized people are still living in shelters. However, it is feared that bureaucratic procedures that go along with the badly needed relief will hamper efforts to help the survivors rise from the rubble, The Jakarta Post correspondent in Mataram Panca Nugraha reports.

Indonesians and instant noodles: A love affair
Food
Indonesians and instant noodles: A love affair

Since its introduction to the Indonesian public in 1968 with the brand “Supermie”, instant noodles have slowly but surely become a significant part of the Indonesian diet. It has been categorized as comfort food, even marketed as an occasional replacement for daily breakfast, lunch or dinner. The word "instant" no longer accurately applies in "emergency cases" such as when time or resources are limited.

German Muslims overcome sectarianism
National
German Muslims overcome sectarianism

A group of Indonesian journalists and scholars recently visited Germany at the invitation of the Goethe Institute Indonesia to obtain first-hand information about Muslim communities in the European country. The Jakarta Post’ writer Safrin La Batu explored the various expressions of Islam there as well as the challenges the communities face as a religious minority in a country that guarantees freedom of faith 

Saving maleo a mission possible
Longform
Saving maleo a mission possible

The maleo, a bird endemic to Sulawesi, is on the brink of extinction as a result of poaching and a shrinking habitat. The Jakarta Post’s correspondent in the Central Sulawesi provincial capital of Palu, Ruslan Sangadji, takes a closer look at how land conversion, egg theft and international support may make or break conservation efforts.

Freed hamlet riskily bolsters patriotism
National
Freed hamlet riskily bolsters patriotism

Azerbaijan recently invited Indonesian journalists to the country for an update on the latest developments in international efforts to help resolve its territorial conflict with Armenians over Nagorno-Karabakh.The Jakarta Post’s Pandaya, who also interviewed Armenian diplomats in Jakarta, sees growing tensions as the peace negotiations that began in 1994 remain stalled.

The new media we know little about
National
The new media we know little about

Data breaches have become a contentious issue worldwide after Facebook, which has 137 million users in Indonesia, admitted that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had harvested data of 80 million users. The Jakarta Post’s Safrin La Batu explores challenges and how the government will help protect citizens’ privacy online. 

Too much pesticide on plantations
National
Too much pesticide on plantations

Farms and plantations’ heavy dependence on pesticides is sounding an alarm on occupational safety in North Sumatra, one of Indonesia’s main oil palm producing regions. Some of the banned active chemical ingredients are widely available on the black market, while workers and farmers are ill-informed about the dangers of agricultural chemicals, reports The Jakarta Post’s local correspondent, Apriadi Gunawan.

The United States of ‘dangdut’: A struggle to ‘shake’ America
Entertainment
The United States of ‘dangdut’: A struggle to ‘shake’ America

A melting pot of cultures, Indonesia is very fortunate to be blessed with a mix of Melayu, Indian, Arab, Chinese and European music, now known as dangdut. The popularity of the genre has reached far and wide; however, maybe not as far as the United States — or so one might think. 

Rabies in the land of dog-meat lovers
National
Rabies in the land of dog-meat lovers

Since rabies was declared endemic to East Nusa Tenggara in 1997, there has been little progress in the provincial government’s efforts to eliminate the zoonotic  disease, as the virus remains a serious health issue today. Reporting from Maumere, The Jakarta Post contributing writer Djemi Amnifu explains how the local government’s neglect, combined with the locals’ appetite for dog meat, has contributed to the spread of the deadly disease. 

Slums transform overnight into tourist spots
National
Slums transform overnight into tourist spots

Inspired by success stories in Yogyakarta and Malang, an increasing number of slum areas in major cities across Indonesia have transformed into new colorful quarters worthy of sightseeing.The Jakarta Post writers Corry Elyda in Jakarta and Aman Rochman in Malang take a closer look at how the trend is sparking a new social media craze.

Mentawais rise to save customary lands
National
Mentawais rise to save customary lands

The indigenous forest people of the remote Mentawai Islands, about 150 kilometers off the west coast of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean, are being pushed even further to the edge. They are powerless to defend their pristine forest, which a company has eyed for converting into a plantation. The Jakarta Post journalist Moses Ompusunggu recently visited Siberut, the largest of the three islands that make up the regency, and observed the native people’s struggle to protect their ancestral home.

How Sunda Wiwitan survives injustice
National
How Sunda Wiwitan survives injustice

Followers of Sunda Wiwitan, one of the countless indigenous faiths in Indonesia, have survived colonial oppression and purges of non-official religions by the authoritarian New Order regime. The Jakarta Post writer Corry Elyda takes a look at how the small communities scattered across West Java and Banten provinces have stood the test of time.

LGBT people face uphill battle for rights
National
LGBT people face uphill battle for rights

Indonesia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has been subjected to prejudice, hatred and physical attacks. Adding insult to injury, public officials and religious leaders have further exacerbated the situation with their politically charged anti-LGBT rhetoric. The latest challenge is the insistence by lawmakers on criminalizing same-sex relations. The Jakarta Post’s writer Safrin La Batu reports on how the marginalized group is putting up a fight for its rights.

Refashioned stadium rekindles spirit
National
Refashioned stadium rekindles spirit

The world-class Gelora Bung Karno sports complex, a legacy of Indonesia’s founding father Sukarno, has been renovated for the upcoming Asian Games, which will be cohosted by Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra. The Jakarta Post sports correspondent Ramadani Saputra has taken a look at the history of the sports complex, from its inauguration to what it looks like today after having gone through a US$205 million renovation.

Few know why children are stunted
National
Few know why children are stunted

Despite its reputation as a resource-rich country, Indonesia still bears the shame of a problem with stunting, globally having the fifth highest number of cases. The Jakarta Post journalist Moses Ompusunggu examines why Indonesia remains struggling with the issue and what it is doing to address it.

Mahakam dolphins at brink of extinction
National
Mahakam dolphins at brink of extinction

The Mahakam, one of Indonesia’s mightiest rivers, is home to endangered freshwater dolphins in Kalimantan. Conservation group Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia (RASI) estimates their number at 80. Pollution from the mining industry and logging has been largely blamed for their endangerment. The Jakarta Post correspondent in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Nurni Sulaiman, recently joined researchers and activists on a three-week trip along the Mahakam River to monitor the animals’ degrading habitat and conservation efforts.

GMO in times of shrinking land
National
GMO in times of shrinking land

The challenge to feed the world’s 7.6 billion people has never been more daunting. Scientists, governments and farmers have come together to promote biotechnology and boost agricultural products in the face of shrinking arable land and global warming. During a recent ASEAN Plant Science Primer event organized by agriculture companies association CropLife Asia in Manila recently, The Jakarta Post’s writer Corry Elyda had the opportunity to observe how some ASEAN countries are making the most of biotechnology.

Ray of hope for adherents  of native faiths
National
Ray of hope for adherents of native faiths

The recent Constitutional Court ruling that allows millions of adherents of indigenous faiths to state their beliefs on their ID card has raised expectations of an end to state-sponsored discrimination. The Jakarta Post writers Margareth S. Aritonang and Corry Elyda review the landmark ruling and its pitfalls. Our correspondents Bambang Muryanto in Yogyakarta and Apriadi Gunawan in Medan take a closer look at local native faiths.

Workers feel digital pinch
National
Workers feel digital pinch

Indonesia may not yet have an unmanned establishment like Jack Ma’s Tao Café in Hangzhou, China, or driverless buses like those in France and Switzerland, but the impact of digitalization on employment in the country is becoming increasingly obvious. The Jakarta Post journalist Stefani Ribka examines how the digital revolution will continue robbing people of jobs but considerably improve business efficiency at the same time.

Unmasking the hypocrisy of casual marriage
National
Unmasking the hypocrisy of casual marriage

The recent bust of a prostitution service disguised as an online dating platform has put the controversy over nikah siri (informal unregistered marriage) back into the spotlight. The Jakarta Post’s Corry Elyda and Ika Krismantari discuss why people still love to embrace this bald-faced hypocrisy.  

Uncovering China’s cashless society
World
Uncovering China’s cashless society

The prevalence of China’s mobile payments is hard to overlook. Not only is everyone talking about the e-payment platforms, but also people are using them in their daily lives to the point where it seems they can’t live without them.

Indonesia looks to Japan for social security
National
Indonesia looks to Japan for social security

After three years of fully fledged operations, the social security system continues to struggle with low participant acquisition and poor premium compliance.

Natural Born TV Killers
Science & Tech
Natural Born TV Killers

They turn down television deals and, with their own quantifiable online audience and self-produced videos, these are people who do not have the slightest worry about ratings or “getting axed.”

State clueless as e-waste keeps piling up
National
State clueless as e-waste keeps piling up

As a developing country with a burgeoning middle class population, Indonesia has become one of the world’s largest markets for electronics. According to the latest survey from the Indonesian Internet Providers Association (APJII), almost 133 million Indonesians had access to the internet last year through their smartphones and computers.

Restoring sandalwood’s glory
National
Restoring sandalwood’s glory

In 1986, then East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) governor Ben Mboi issued a bylaw on the trade in sandalwood that everybody in the impoverished province has been regretting ever since; five years later it was revoked and replaced with a more populist one.