JMSI: Press Council to Protect Freedom of the Press
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The material judicial review hearing of Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press to hear a witness for the Press Council (Relevant Party), Thursday (5/19/2022). Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.


Thursday, May 19, 2022 | 13:56 WIB

JAKARTA, Public Relations—The Press Council has an important function, that is, to protect freedom of the press and to build a healthy, professional national press ecosystem to further the nation and state, especially to build a database of press companies pursuant to Article 15 letter f of the Press Law, which is crucial and is as it should be. This statement was made by Teguh Santosa of the Indonesian Cyber ​​Media Network (JMSI) (Relevant Party) at the tenth hearing for the judicial review of Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press on Thursday, May 19, 2022 in the Constitutional Court (MK). The case No. 38/PUU-XIX/2021 was filed by three journalists and chairpersons of press companies and legal entity press organizations—Heintje Grontson Mandagie, Hans M. Kawengian, and Soegiharto Santoso.

Teguh explained that JMSI is a cyber media company founded in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan on February 8, 2020. Its deed of establishment was recorded in the Decree of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights No. AHU-0008715.AH.01.07.TAHUN 2020. He explained that the organization was formed to build a healthy press ecosystem with good management in order to educate. It was also expected to work professionally by implementing all journalistic agendas in accordance with the journalistic code of ethics, so that it would generate positive, beneficial products for the nation and state.

JMSI was founded but to respond to the digital world. As we know, digital revolution had given new media space by utilizing the digital media as a means for information and communication. This was reflected in the signing of the Palembang Charter, an agreement between media companies to set a journalist competency standard, which became important in maintaining journalistic professionalism,” Teguh revealed virtually before Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other eight constitutional justices.

Before concluding the hearing, Chief Justice Anwar Usman announced that the next hearing would take place on Wednesday, June 8 at 11:00 WIB to hear the testimonies of witnesses and experts for the other Relevant Party, the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI).

Also read: 

Press Council’s Function in Drafting Regulations Called into Question

Govt: Press Council Facilitates Lawmaking in Press

Press Freedom Chaos Will Ensue If All Organizations Make Regulations 

Press Council’s Regulations Impair Journalists’ Rights

House: Press Council Maintains Quality of the Press 

Bagir Manan: Press Council Makes Rules Based on Convention

Press Council Represents State in Safeguarding National Press

The Petitioners challenge Article 15 paragraphs (2) letter f and (5) of the Press Law. Article 15 paragraph (2) letter f of the Press Law reads, “The Press Council has the following functions: facilitating press organizations in order to form regulations in press as well as increasing the quality of journalistic professionalism.” Meanwhile, Article 15 paragraph (5) reads, “Membership of the Press Council as stated in article (3) is stipulated by a Presidential Decree.”

At the preliminary hearing on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, the Petitioners asserted that as owners of press companies and legal entities, they felt that their right to form an independent Press Council and to vote for and be elected as Press Council members democratically had been oppressed. In addition, they believe the provision has prevented them from appointing and inaugurating Press Council members. The Petitioners organized a national press congress in 2019, in which its members were appointed. However, due to Article 15 paragraph (5) of the Press Law, the results of the congress were not responded by the president.

The Petitioners also believe Article 15 paragraph (2) letter f of the Press Law must be reviewed because it had led to press organizations losing their right to formulate regulations in press. The Press Council interprets the a quo article that they have the authority to draft and stipulate regulations in press. Therefore, Article 15 paragraph (2) letter f of the Press Law contradicts Article 28, Article 28C paragraph (2), Article 28D paragraph (1), Article 28E paragraph (3), Article 28H paragraph (2), and Article 28I paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution insofar as not interpreted as “in forming regulations in the press by each press organization” as it limits the press organizations’ right to develop freedom of the press and uphold the basic values of democracy, promote the rule of law and human rights, respect diversity, exercise supervision, critique, provide corrections and recommendations on public matters, as well as fight for truth and justice.

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Andhini S. F.
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 4/20/2022 08:43 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.


Thursday, May 19, 2022 | 13:56 WIB 36