Once, there was an amen to the premise that goes saying “each educated person should read newspaper”. You know, it’s been at least 3 years that I have not following any news on the media. One may say that’s because I have the Internet and I can read those online. But, no, I’m not reading any Indonesian online newspaper also. Once in a while maybe, but not that frequent.
I believe, I have the interest of reading newspaper because I was born in a good reading habit family. When I was a small boy, we subscribed to Bobo magazine. My father was also subscribed on Kompas. I was amazed (at that time) by my Bahasa Indonesia teachers that always praising that Kompas is consistently playing a major role for writing good article in a good Bahasa Indonesia. My father also buying Kontan each week in the early days of that newspaper. I still remember how good it was telling us readers about some news from the view of economics.
So, why am I stop reading news?
If you start to reading newspaper article nowadays, there is a common flaw that makes me sick of reading it. Nowadays, almost all of the article made with screwing some facts with opinions. Opinion building is one thing, but the news should never put opinion on a fact story. At least, let’s put some clear distinctive terms between writers opinion and the story. Forcing people to make a subjective opinion is not a clear way of good journalism and it’s far from elegant. It even doesn’t educate people by making them think of the interpretation themselves.
For instance, if it is a story of Israel versus Hammas, we will see that Israel always becomes the bad guy. If Hammas rocketing the Israelis, we will find good excuses for it. But, if the Israelis strikes, we will have the condemn all over the writings. This would be fine if those are what inscribed in novel or some fairy tails. But, if that’s what been wrote on the news, that’s totally nonsense. What happens with the objectivity of journalism?
What is objectivity? Take a look at scientific writings. If a researcher writing about Dengue, the person/team would write about what happens with the patient. The researcher would write about the effects: the virus attacks and the physical sign of the body that received the attack. If the researcher take a look at the virus, the person/team would describe about the virus. But, they will never put any of their feeling towards the patient nor the virus. They will never write the patient as “poor man” nor “unlucky person”. In fact, they would write “subject” with no expression in it.
That’s what we call objectivity. Trying to be distinctive and see the problem as a whole from 3rd party view. Not trying to be a ruthless, but to be able to put the emotion aside is what is needed to have a quality research. Once emotion is on the way, there would be matters that would get set aside. This would hurt the end result and makes the research unqualified to explain the matter clearly.
To bring hates toward Israelis, would it explain how the whole thing happens? Would it can describe the root of the problem? Can it bring into the right conclusion? Will it bring peace? Or are we in love with hatred and destruction so much?
The second sin of Indonesian journalism nowadays is the sense of ethics.
A wife of a famous person once said about the difference between Indonesian journalist and foreign journalist. She said that the Indonesian journalist would started questioning blatantly, while the foreign journalist would use the sentence with plea, e.g. “would you…”, “could you…”, or “if I may…”.
More about ethics, the Indonesian press would not ashamed of taking dead people photos. They would expose the feeling the victim’s family for the sake of popularity. They would bring reality show into reality. Without censorship and good explanation, they even would put any picture of the poor.
There is a big difference between freedom of speech and monetize controversy. Have our nation become an uncivilized nation?
The third sin of Indonesian journalism is making Bahasa Indonesia as a third class citizen language.
For instance, people would call China as “China” pronounced in English instead of saying “Cina” pronounced in Bahasa Indonesia. According to some people, the word “Cina” would be like saying “nigger” to African American people. Then, why not using the word “Tiong Hoa” or “Tiongkok” pronounced in Bahasa Indonesia?
Are they suggesting that Bahasa Indonesia is an insulting language? Are they suggesting that Bahasa Indonesia is lower than English?
When Pertamina had their oil reservation engulfed in flame, the police officer use the term “human error” to describe the reason. Why are the media not transforming the term into “kesalahan manusia”? Why using “error” than “galat”?
I know that terms in Indonesia is alien, but that’s because none of us nor the media embrace it. Well, at least we, admins of Universitas Indonesia, tries to do so. We love to use the term “ratron” instead of “email”, “unduh” instead of “download”, and “daring” instead of “online”.
But, the bigger question is why the media would use English terms or informal terms that derived from English term instead of the existing Bahasa Indonesia counterparts?
Is “Sumpah Pemuda” still relevant nowadays?
Whoa, this blog post feels weird, paradox. 😳
I should say that, no, I don’t hate our media that much. I still believe and subscribed in Tempo magazine. I just feel totally uncomfortable with the way our media speaks nowadays. I feel anxiety towards the declination of our news quality. I feel troublesome of what happens today. So irritated that I would say “Oh my God! What are they teaching to our journalists nowadays?”
Anyway, this post is a rant. Feel free to comment. (Summoning the proofreader) 🙂