The Jakarta Post
In contrast to the transparent bureaucracy that was promised during their gubernatorial campaign, new Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and his deputy Sandiaga Uno have thus far appeared to implement a closed bureaucratic system, limiting the access of the mass media to their activities at City Hall.
Previously, during the 2012-2017 tenure, former governors Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and Djarot Saiful Hidayat allowed journalists from various mass media organizations to interview them in almost every spot in the building, including in front of their respective offices.
Currently, however, the majority of interview sessions are only permitted to be conducted in the main hall of the building called Balairung. The dozens of journalists present at city hall must wait for Anies and Sandiaga in the main hall for press conferences.
This has limited the ability of journalists to find out who is visiting the governor and deputy governor, as well as to learn what topics are being discussed.
Various meetings, which were usually open to the media, such as meetings on the budget and meetings to brief heads of city-owned enterprises, are now closed to the public.
Sandiaga said he had banned the reporters from conducting interviews in front of his office because the background was not good enough to be displayed on television. “[The interviews are held in Balairung] because the background there is good enough to be displayed on television,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jakarta Communications, Information and Statistics Agency head Dian Ekowati said reporters were banned from joining meetings in order to create a more orderly atmosphere.
“The more orderly the atmosphere, the more concentrated the meeting participants are,” Dian said.