The Jakarta Post
The rising circulation of fake news as an alternative for readers to obtain information is partly due to the questionable impartiality of the country’s mainstream media, according to Press Council chairman Yosep Adi Prasetyo.
Yosep told The Jakarta Post that public trust in the mainstream media has been decreasing since the 2014 legislative and presidential elections that saw media companies openly supporting candidates contesting the presidential race while at the same time, the owners also became involved in politics. The situation has turned gloomier with some journalists favoring certain politicians.
“This is why people no longer trust the news provided by the mainstream media and have instead turned to social media as an alternative source of information,” Yosep said. “This also explains why people are quick to trust information circulating on WhatsApp chat groups, for example, because people no longer see the mainstream media as an authoritative source of facts”.
The Press Council is planning to restore the credibility of the country’s mainstream media by creating a special logo for those that pass the council’s verification to show that they are reliable and trusted. This is part of national efforts to counter mounting circulation of fake news particularly through online platforms. The government is also heightening measures to ban any unreliable online news portal, and is working with the Press Council to help identify them.
Yosep called on mainstream media to support the efforts to protect the Indonesian public from being misled by fake news. (dmr)
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