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Jakarta Post

Journalists reporting Papua unrest struggle to deliver news amid internet blackout

  • Nurni Sulaiman

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Tue, September 3, 2019   /  09:08 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Some 7,000 people from four regencies in Papua march along the street, dancing and chanting “Papua Merdeka” (Free Papua) on Aug. 26. (JP/Courtesy of Bonny Lanny)

Security measures and internet blackout are a swift response from the government against massive protests that turned into unrest in Papua and West Papua in the past two weeks, following the racist persecution of students from the country’s easternmost province in East Java. The internet blackout has frustrated journalists reporting from the restive provinces as they struggle to gather information quickly and accurately and deliver live news reports. To make matters worse, e-commerce platforms and application-based service companies have also been affected by the blackout. INews TV reporter Cornelia Mudumi Agaki expressed her disagreement of the government’s decision to restrict internet access in Papua, saying it was a form of technological setback that had a negative impact on locals and journalists in the area. "I feel like I'm back in the Stone Age....