Protection for Children from Negative Broadcasts Questioned

Legal counsel Hosnika Purba conveying the subject matters at a judicial review hearing of Law No. 32 of 2002 on Broadcasting, Friday (2/2/2024). Photo by MKRI/Panji.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Private employee Wiwit Purwito is challenging Article 48 paragraph (4) letter e of Law No. 32 of 2002 on Broadcasting to the Constitutional Court (MK). The a quo article reads, “Broadcasting codes of conduct shall set standards of broadcast contents that are at least relating to: e. protection for children, teenagers, and women.”

Legal counsel Hosnika Purba alleged the article is in violation of Article 28B paragraph (2), Article 28C, and Article 28F of the 1945 Constitution. In this case No. 11/PUU-XXII/2024, the Petitioner wishes for a confirmation of the limits of child protection in the consumption of cinema because currently there is an increasing number of movies that contain elements of violence, romance, and adult scenes, which have negative impacts on children and teenagers. In the petition, the Petitioner also mentions several soap operas and movies aired on television that have negative impacts on children and adolescents, including Anak Jalanan (English: Street Kids), Ganteng-Ganteng Serigala (English: Handsome Wolves).

These soap operas, Hosnika added, rarely portrays positive scenes such as studying, despite being shot in a school environment or while the cast are wearing school uniforms. The Petitioner is concerned as children and teenagers often imitate behavior shown by adults that they often see and hear, so these television entertainment contents have caused parents to worry about the development and characters of children exposed to such shows that are full of negative messages. Therefore, he believes broadcasting institutions (in this case the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission or KPI), which are mass communication media that have an important role in social life, take on the responsible for supervising, screening, and selecting films that are suitable for children and teenagers.

“In order to have legal certainty to protect children and teenagers about ethical behavior from television, I hope the Constitutional Court will hand down a decision on the meaning of the phrase ‘protection for children, teenagers, and women’ in Article 48 paragraph (4) letter e of Law No. 32 of 2002 on Broadcasting to be interpreted as a prohibition on displaying any romantic scenes of opposite sexes in education environments at the senior high school level or its equivalent or where school uniform attributes are worn,” said Hosnika before the panel chaired by Constitutional Justice Enny Nurbaningsih.

Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh gave the Petitioner some notes on his elaboration of legal standing and potential and factual constitutional loss. He also advised the Petitioner to distinguish the matter of implementation and constitutionality of the norm.

“In the background of the petition, please elaborate on the principles or doctrines that support the argument in the posita, and elaborate on whether the norm be declared [unconstitutional] or whether to request a new interpretation of the norm,” said Justice Foekh at the hearing on Friday, February 2, 2024 in the plenary courtroom.

Next, Constitutional Justice Ridwan Mansyur advised the Petitioner to elaborate more on the protection for children and teenagers in relation to the norm. Lastly, Justice Enny noted that the objectum litis was inaccurate since the norm being challenged is the Broadcasting Law, not the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission Law. She also expected the Petitioner to mention relevant rights protected by the Constitution that have been violated by the norm being petitioned.

Before concluding the hearing, Justice Enny announced that the Petitioner would have fourteen days to revise the petition and submit it to the Registrar’s Office by Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 09:00 WIB.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Andhini S. F.
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

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.

Friday, February 02, 2024 | 10:24 WIB 38