TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Press Council Chairman Yosep Adi Prasetyo reminded news agencies to take further cautious steps in reporting the simultaneous regional elections (Pilkada) in West Java.
“Through this declaration, we can at least remind them to be careful in conducting their reports and should accentuate the public’s interest,” said Yosep following the declaration in Bandung yesterday, April 10.
According to Yosep, the Press Council discovered several unverified news agencies active in reporting the regional elections in some parts of West Java such as in Cirebon, Kuningan, and Bekasi.
“Practices conducted by fake and unverified news agencies violating ethical codes, and blatantly being a part of a candidate’s campaign team. This has taken place,” said Yosep.
He asserted that such unethical practices – affecting legit news agencies – was found during the Jakarta Gubernatorial Election, which became a source to spread hoax.
“Many hoaxes were packaged as unverified and unconfirmed news. This bogus news agency has become parts of the machine spreading hatred. That has happened,” Yosep asserted.
Furthermore, Yosep said that the Press Council is still collecting data on the number of news agencies in Indonesia, which is predicted to be 47,000 in total. Specifically, 2,000 of them are printed news media, 600 television-based news agencies, 600 radio broadcast news, and 43,300 online news agencies.
However, the verified online news agencies acknowledged by the Press Council were only 168 from the total of 43,300. “We don’t know what the rest are,” said Yosep.