Entry: a blog's duty? 11/18/2004



There's something I read somewhere on this great big network of infothoughts known as the World Wide Web about blogs being the next wave of media, where it is through the independence of blogs that issues big corporate media won't touch because of various political-economy reasons they wont touch, these kinds of thoughts are put to attention.

There are two such thoughts, at any rate, that I want to put to attention at this moment. One's about a highway accident killing six people involving the President's entourage. The other is about the closure of a junior high school long the center of controversy.

Okay, the first. The highway accident. At around ten o'clock today Jakarta local time, a car accident happened on the Jagorawi toll road resulting in the death of six and the wounding of at least ten. It happened about ten minutes before the President of Indonesia was supposed to pass said toll road. As is customary the road was 'sterilised' before he went through, you know, checked for possible assasination attempts, cleared of car congestion, blocaded from all traffic, that kinda stuff. I'm explaining because I'm not too sure if this also happens in other countries when your heads of states pass by public roads (hello you two international audiences:)

You might be able to imagine the controversy that should arise, but the news was quickly subdued by other news about the President's plan of action and other international news. At this moment Kompas has not written anything about it yet. I hope they will, they usually do so, and relatively objectively, but if not I wrote this little something you're reading right now and also have bookmarked and saved several detikcom articles (in Indonesian only, unfortunately) where I discovered them, here, here, here, and here, just in case the state decides to order them deleted. You never know, you know?

But the interesting thing is before this news was obscured by SBY's speech this highway accident news also obscured another news, about the forced emptying of SMPN 56 at Melawai. Article links (once again in Indonesian only, forgive me) here and here. A brief summary of the controversy is that there was this junior high school in Melawai that was ordered moved by Governor Sutiyoso a couple of years ago (I would recommend googling for more information yourself), the controversy stemming from allegations of business favoritism and corruption among other things.

Well the thing is an aunt of mine happened to be a teacher at said junior high (she teaches now at the school's new location at Jeruk Purut, Jakarta), and she herself noted that the school's old location was too close to a bus terminal and was long complained as being filled with delinquent students due to the criminal elements of the surrounding area

The details of both are still vague, and detikcom has long been known for high-speed sensasionalism. If its controversial and it happened in Indonesia you can be sure that detikcom will write about it first, but if you want other angles and objective viewpoints you're gonna have to wait another moment or twenty while their reporters try to get more indepth facts. Extremely quick reporting, but often times not consistently objective enough for my taste.

I don't really want to condemn anyone of anything, neither the Press nor the Government, but I just feel it to be too much of a pity if these things slip under the radar too quickly before Indonesian society gets to digest their meanings, just because its political-economically unprofitable to invite the government's wrath. Perhaps?

Update 18/11/04 11.23[+07.00 UT]: I guess Kompas did print the stories after all. That's good:) As for objectivity I guess there are better things to spend human resources on, but enough effort has been made for such a short time I suppose. In these days of instantation its always necessary to manage our strengths and make sure we don't waste energy. But still their articles do feel a bit too government centric for my taste.

Whatever. What do I know about working as a reporter?:)

Update 18/11/04 23.11[+07.00 UT] And I just found a couple of articles covering the Jagorawi Crash and the Melawai Junior High incident in English from The Jakarta Post. Yay:) Hopefuly these will finally clear some things up for you two:)

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