The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post's editor-in-chief Meidyatama Suryodiningrat was sworn in as the new president director of national news agency Antara on Friday, replacing Saiful Hadi, who had occupied the position since 2012.
In his speech, Meidyatama said that despite two decades of journalistic experience under his belt, he still had much to learn in his new position at the 78-year-old news agency.
He said he would not make drastic changes to Antara, arguing that the news agency had already matured.
'I'm not here to wreak havoc at Antara. The company is older than this Republic,' he said.
Meidyatama said that he had been directly appointed to lead Antara by President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo.
'When I met with him [Jokowi] last December, he told me that he didn't ask for anything. He didn't ask to be supported or to be written about [only] in a positive way,' he said.
However, Meidyatama acknowledged that he would not have the same freedom to criticize the government as he had enjoyed while leading the Post.
Besides Meidyatama, Aat Surya Safaat was also sworn in as a director at the news agency.
Fajar Harry Sampurno, the state-owned enterprises minister's assistant for mining, strategic industry and media, said that the reshuffle was part of the government's strategy to establish a National Publishing and News Corporation, which would involve four state-owned enterprises, including Antara.
A ministerial decree terminated the employment of three of five directors at the news agency, namely Saiful, technology and human resources director Naufal Mahfudz and finance director Endah Sri Wahyuni.
'Antara will only have three directors, comprising the president director and two directors,' the company's secretary, Iswahyuni said.
Commercial director Hempi N. Prajudi will retain his post as a director.
Iswahyuni said that the company's monitoring board would determine the new job description of the two directors.
'There will be an internal hand-over ceremony at Antara on Monday, followed by a coordinating meeting with the board of directors and the supervisory board. After that, we will know the new position of Pak Aat Surya Safaat and Pak Hempi Prajudi,' she said.
Born in Jakarta on Dec. 12, 1967, Meidyatama started his career as a journalist at the Post in 1993.
He has covered local and international subjects and continues to focus on issues related to sociopolitical affairs and foreign policy.
Meidyatama also worked for two years as a political analyst for a strategic consulting firm that engaged in government and community relations before returning to the Post in 2004.
In 2008, Meidyatama completed his research fellowship at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.
He previously graduated with a bachelor's degree (majoring in Political Science and 19th Century Western Diplomatic History) from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and also attended graduate school studying International Development Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.
Meanwhile, Aat started his career as a journalist with Antara in 1988. His last position was as the director of PT ANPA International.
During the ceremony, Saiful expressed his gratitude toward the ministry for helping the news agency develop from a government institution into its current legal entity as a company.
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