SEAPA Alert: Indonesian government bows to public opinion; draft
rules on multimedia content dropped
22 February 2010
The Indonesian government rejected a controversial ministry
regulation draft on multimedia content which had sparked protests
from both journalists and online users, media reports said.
According to KOMPAS.com, Minister for Communication and Information
Tifatul Sembiring on 19 February 2010 said he will “erase it”,
acknowledging that it “threatens the freedom of the press in the
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono himself said during a cabinet
plenary meeting on 18 February that the draft proved to be a
sensitive issue that has caused debates among the public. He added
that further consideration on the draft should be given.
The “Jakarta Globe” quoted MCI spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto as saying
that the proposed regulation provides for a 30-member multimedia
content team that “would act on public complaints about disturbing
content, and would only order Internet service providers to block
Web sites that it felt were displaying material already banned
under Indonesian law”.
Critics claimed the draft regulation is the government’s knee-jerk
reaction to recent publicized cases of Internet abuse.
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) said in a statement
that should this regulation takes effect, press freedom would be
endangered, especially online content provided by news
organizations. It added that the draft rules contradict Article 4
of Law Number 40 of 1999 on Press.
In a statement, AJI-Indonesia President Nezar Patria said that the
Journalistic Ethical Code should be the sole means of press content
regulation, either printed, broadcast or online. For broadcasting,
the Code of Conduct of Indonesian Broadcasting and Indonesian
Broadcasting Standard of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission
should be used.
The Allansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent
Journalists or AJI) is a founding member of SEAPA. Based in
Jakarta, Indonesia, AJI seeks to promote press freedom and protect
the rights of Indonesian journalists.
Southeast Asian Press Alliance.
Bangkok Office: 3B, 3rd floor, Thakolsuk Place, No. 115 Terddumri Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300. Tel. (662)2435579 Fax.(662)2448749
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