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Media
Monday, May 7, 2007
Journalist Says No To Bribery, Increase Wage


source: http://maverickid.com

Hundreds of people from different organizations and labor unions joined a one-day-strike in front of presidential palace in Jakarta over wage issues. Maverick was invited by our journalist friend to capture the moment.

Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Independent Journalist Alliance) – AJI collaborated with Aliansi Buruh Menggugat enthusiastically expressed their stand- points with regard to labor issues.

Head of AJI Jakarta Jajang Jamaluddin says, "Lots of people have expressed their disappointment over Indonesian journalists’ professionalism. Some people see journalists as people who are easily bribed and give positive publicity in return."

This is a sad phenomenon. AJI sees that the standard of salary of Indonesian journalists is very low. It's only one-quarter of those fellow journalist's salary in Malaysia and Thailand. "Because of the low salary, while there are so many basic needs to be fulfilled, saying NO to bribery is not an easy task," Jajang says.

AJI encourage the media organizations to raise the salary of their employees to avoid bribery. "Some journalists think that it's acceptable to receive 'envelope' (money, red) from the news source. In fact, this has strong influence on journalist's independency", Coordinator of Labor Union AJI Jakarta Winuranto Adhi says.

Acccording to the survey conducted by AJI in 2006, the minimum wage for a journalist in Jakarta should be of Rp3.1 million. Of course the number should be adjustable in line with the inflation rate. "We can make it happens through solidarity, fight for it and by forming a union," Winuranto adds.

Winuranto also mentions that there are lots of media organizations that suppressing its employees to form a labor union. The organizations/corporations are afraid that the employees might criticize the management and/or able to fight for their rights. AJI picks Bambang Wisudo case as an example.

Bambang Wisudo was the secretary of Perkumpulan Karyawan Kompas (PKK) and the fact that he got sacked was very much reflected the union busting in the media. Wisudo was mutated to Ambon – while Syahnan Rangkuti (Head of PKK) was mutated to Padang – after PKK succeeded to persuade the management to give away 20% of employees' shares devident.


On that sunny afternoon, Jajang told me and my colleague – Hanny - that AJI would keep encouraging Indonesian journalists to improve their skills, professionalism and to follow the code of ethics in journalism (see our previous post on journo's code of ethics here).

“Say NO to bribery, increase the wage!”, he says at the end of the interview.(Nila T)
posted by KOMPAS @ 10:32 PM  
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