TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta Independent Journalists Alliance (AJI) stated FPI misunderstood about the Press Law by conducting a protest against Tempo caricature at Tempo office in Palmerah, South Jakarta, Friday, March 16. The rally that forced Tempo to admit the journalistic mistakes was an anti-democratic and anti-press freedom act.
"Press Council is the one who has rights to judge whether the journalism work (in this case Tempo caricature) has violated the journalistic code of ethics or not,” said AJI Jakarta Chairman Ahmad Nurhasim in a written statement, Jakarta, Friday, March 16.
A total of 200 FPI masses came to Tempo Building on Friday afternoon, March 16. They considered the caricature published by Tempo Magazine in February 26 edition, insulting ulema who was the FPI leader, Rizieq Shihab.
The dialogue with Tempo came to an agreement to solve the matter through the Press Council and FPI was welcomed to give a response or reply regarding the case. This way has stipulated in Law No. 40/1999 regarding the Press, particularly in Article 15 on the Press Council. Another regulation was in Article 5 on the Principles, Functions, Rights, Obligations, and Roles of the Press.
According to Nurhasim, Tempo has actually performed the press function properly as a social control media by developing a public opinion based on the accurate and correct information and conducting supervision, criticism, and suggestions on matters of public interest. Thus, AJI condemned the demonstration held by the mass organization Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
"FPI should’ve expressed the objection to the caricature by raising the issue in a journalism dispute, letting the media clarify or correct the work, or file a complaint to the Press Council," Nurhasim said.
Nurhasim assessed the FPI mass rally over Tempo caricatures might create a terror among journalists and media to be critical and independent in presenting journalism work because such action is possibly experiencing by other media when producing critical matters against a community group.