Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gatra new look to be launched tomorrow

Gatra, one of the leading newsmagazines in Indonesia, has changed its publication schedule back from Monday to Thursday.

Several editorial and marketing staffers in Gatra told us that the move was an attempt to boost the magazine’s circulation which stands at about 90,000 copies now. As part of the circulation boosting exercise Gatra will also be redesigned to give it a fresher and more attractive look.

They also plan to publish a series of Corporate Social Responsibility articles on various areas such as education, environment and health. In this week’s issue, Gatra will publish 4 pages of articles on the environment.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

When Good News Ain’t So Good

Maverick was featured in a local newspaper. Although it’s only a 1-column-3-paragraph article, it had an orange Maverick title, with a headline “Go International via Asia dan Eropa”. Wow! That should be the reaction the article gives you, isn’t it? For me all it gives me is puzzlement.

The article was obviously based on an event a few weeks back, where we talked to some journos about the concept of Corporate Social Leadership (CSL) and our own CSL program. As posted earlier, in our CSL program, we have been working with Yayasan Mitra Netra since last year, and we are going to extend our program this year by working together with Yayasan Kelola Arts and Centre for the Betterment of Education (CBE).

Where the article is concerned, the incredible thing is the headline of Maverick going international. We have dreams of world domination but much as we want to, going international is not our priority just yet. And being experienced media hands we were careful about what we said or did not say. That didn’t help us though. Our technical advisor Ong, who was never interviewed by the writer was quoted as saying that now is the time for Maverick to go international, at least to Asia and Europe. Wow!

The puzzle continues…The article goes on to explain that to make this goal a reality, Maverick is cooperating with Yayasan Mitra Netra, Yayasan Kelola Arts and CBE. Another “wow” came up from me -- can those NGOs really help Maverick to go international?

The article ended with “Now is the time for Maverick to extend and develop Corporate Social Responsibility (CSL) Program. CSL activities are focus to community”.

Now, if you don’t really know what’s going on, you will take that article as good and positive news. But this is what really worries me, most readers don’t know what’s really going on, and they depend so much on the media to tell them.

I read the small piece of article again and again, and yet I can’t figure out what’s the article is supposed to mean. I guess good news is not always good news and that for some journalists one should not let facts get in the way of a good story.

Want to be a Maverick?

We are looking for junior-level consultants (those with between entry level and 3 years working experience) as business is expanding. Do you have what it takes?

Paper qualifications are not important to us. We’d consider prior experience in a relevant industry an advantage but we are more interested to hire smart young people with energy, drive and a can-do attitude.

And why should you consider working in Maverick? We are a PR consultancy (not an agency) with attitude. We work with clients who know what they want, whom we like and who like us. That way we have a greater chance of doing kick-ass work and have fun doing it. We think this is a great way to spend our professional lives -- while still enjoying our personal ones.

Interested candidates can send resumes and an imaginative cover note to Only those selected will be called for an interview.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Indonesian in CNet Asia's Regional Dispatches

Highlighted by Jeff Ooi's Screenshots CNET Asia is enlisting bloggers from around the region to blog on technology and review cool gadjets in what they call Regional Dispatches.

Their man in Indonesia is Vishnu Mahmud a trained hotel manager who now holds a day job as a PR consultant writing under the name of Toekang IT. We wish him luck.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Are PR people taking over the blogosphere?

Jeremy Wagstaff has raised an inportant issue in his Loose Wire Blog on worldwide PR firm Edelman's deal with Technorati. Essentially the deal is to offer localized versions of Technorati's offering in German, Korean, Italian, French and Chinese.

This deal allows Edelman to get into the analytics of tracking conversations in the blogosphere, but being a typical journalist Jeremy worries whether this means that PR people have taken over the conversation.

It is an understandable suspicion but one founded more on the misperception that PR people are into spin, that they are still stuck in the mode of command-and-control one-to-many communications and that they haven't realised that they are there to present only a good image of companies, no warts and all.

Just like there are bad journalists, there are bad PR practitioners who do all those awful stuff. They give PR a bad name. To be fair there are lots of awful PR practitioners around, just like the tons of mediocre and horrible journalists.

But where the best PR practitioners are concerned, it has always been and will always be about getting our clients to communicate with credibility — with or without the blogosphere. read more

Mega is Back!

IT journalists take note: The irrepresible Megawati Khie is back as an IT Player in Indonesia, this time as Country Head of Dell Indonesia.

Mega was last in the public eye as the Director of Small and Medium Enterprises at Microsoft Indonesia. Then she resigned saying that she wanted to do her own thing. She's now been appointed to head Dell. She's always been quite newsworthy to the Indonesian media, being one of the few women in senior positions in the IT industry and juggling between career and motherhood.

Welcome back Mega and we're sure you'll be contributing to lots of copy.

A Maverick featured as Blogger of the Week

Maverick-at-large Eva Muchtar who's on a year's sabbatical from this outfit has been featured as Blogger of the week in A Fatih Syuhud's blog, Blogger Indonesia.

When we last heard of Eva she had tramped through Nepal and was learning Spanish in Barcelona. In the meantime she's kept up an exciting blog of her travels and observations in her blog Pilgrim for Life.

She'll be coming back ito Indonesia soon. Well done Eva!

Monday, May 22, 2006

BBC Interview Mishap

How would you feel if you were called in for a job interview and got dragged into a live TV interview that was broadcasted throughout England instead? Would you be confused and go along with it anyway? That is what happened to Guy Goma, who came to BBC news office in England for a job interview on May 8, 2006.

Goma came in that day expecting to discuss about a technology-related job opportunity, but was mistakenly thought as Guy Kewney, an expert of Internet music downloads. He was immediately rushed by an employee to a studio for an interview about the Britain's High Court's verdict on the Apple Computer vs. Apple Corps landmark battle. Thinking that it was part of the job interview, Goma went along with the interview, confused as he must've been. He then realized the error when he was introduced as another man and tried to explain, but BBC News 24 correspondent continued the interview. Goma answered all questions, giving his opinions on the future of music downloads and internet cafes following the landmark verdict during this interview, while the real Guy Kewney watched "himself" on live interview from the reception room, a bit shocked.

BBC had apologized to its viewers about the mishaps. Kewney, the real expert, wrote on his blog that he felt the mistake hurt his reputation. He then has been invited back for the interview. However, Goma never got his job interview.

I found this story rather hilarious, although this shows that a small mistake like that could cost a respected news network such as BBC its reputation.

This is a small good lesson that the Indonesian media can learn NOT TO DO from the venerable BBC.


Friday, May 19, 2006

‘The good ol’ days had gone’

Female war correspondents are rare enough, but an Indonesian female war correspondent?

Hard to believe but there is at least one out there. Her name is Rien Kuntari and she works in Kompas.

Her career as war correspondent began after only a few weeks after she started working as a reporter in Kompas. She was assigned to cover the Gulf War. Immediately after that she was dispatched to cover the ethnic war in Rwanda.

“In the course of my reporting, I’ve experienced a gun pointed to my head,” she told maverick Indonesia. “I’ve also suffered from a horrifying skin disease because of the bugs that lived on dead bodies. Clothing was no protection because those bugs were so small they could easily get through the pores.”

Her work has had its toll: “Until now, I still do not have the courage to see the movie, Hotel Rwanda. I am too terrified with what I’ve seen in real life.”

I first met her when my colleague Syarina introduced us. On first impression Rien seems a quiet person who does not get up to much that is interesting. But that impression soon changes when asked what she has written about: “I used to write about wars,” she replied calmly and then proceeds to narrate one harrowing story after another.

Even though I only met her for a few minutes, talking to Rien felt like being with an old good friend. She knows how to make others feel comfortable in talking with her. And she absolutely has loads of stories to share and her seniority made possible for her to share advice on how to live and appreciate our life.

She has been with Kompas for fifteen years, knows many high-level government officials and she has great access to them. She also knows first hand how the media in Indonesia has changed from when she started her journalism career. “If people think the Press has more freedom now, they’re wrong; the good ol’ days had gone” she said, adding that journalists now are being intimidated and limited in writing their news because of the greed of media owners who would willingly sacrifice editorial space for commercials. “This is a sad fact of journalism here today,” said Rien.

I had a dream that night, after we dropped Rien at her office. I dreamt about Rien’s story of the Rift Valley that was created when volcanic eruptions caused a giant split on the earth’s surface from Syria to Mozambique. Lava flowed into the valley, forming escarpments on either side of the gigantic though, so wide it could be seen from the moon.

It became a lake and in my dream I saw millions of flamingos resplendent in the golden glow just before dusk along the shoreline.

It was very beautiful.

SBY's cutting edge website

Global Voices Online has reported that President SBY has a new innovative website, complete with RSS and Podcast feeds feeds as well.

It even has an English section and a section devoted to the First lady. Apparently it costs about Rp42 million a month to operate, a pittance really if it pays dividends. A quick search on Technorati shows that its been kept relatively updated: 19 oposts in the last 16 days.

What next for this technology-adopting president? SBY Blog next?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BBC Indonesia to broadcast live from Jakarta

A couple of weeks ago, some of us at Maverick dropped by the BBC Indonesia office.

We were warmly welcomed by Sastra Wijaya, Desk Editor, Indonesian Section who’s just being relocated to Indonesia after his posting in England. BBC Indonesia aims to deliver credible news from around the world and the country. In the near future, BBC Indonesia expects to conduct live report from Jakarta as a way to deliver local news promptly.

Currently, BBC Indonesia has partnerships with several radio stations in Indonesia, such as Radio Elshinta Jakarta and Radio Global Bali to broadcast their live report daily From England at certain times. According to Sastra, BBC Indonesia is interested in covering the topics of current affairs, human interest and lifestyle. Once, they invited Indonesian musicians to their station and had their performance live on the radio, Glenn Fredly was one among them who was being interviewed in the station.

In the spacious office Sastra shared BBC’s routine: it begins with their morning meeting to discuss what’s news for the day, job allocations for the reporters and also the live broadcast workflow from London to Jakarta. They then assign their reporters to cover the important events.

Also at our meeting was Edwin Shri Bimo & Henry Sianipar - Indonesian Service Producer who took us on a short tour on the new office and 2 broadcasting rooms. BBC Indonesian section comprises seven reporters, two expatriates -- Rachel and Becky -- as the news gatherer and producer respectively. Rachel will soon complete her tenure in Indonesia after her 3-year stay in Jakarta.

Tempo enters blogosphere

This just in from Blogger Indonesia's A. Fatih Syuhud

Nothing can make me happier than to see a mainstream Indonesia media like Tempo now is taking initiative to introduce blog and blogging into the 'conventional' audience or in other words it acknowledges the growing influence and popularity of blogging so much so that it can no longer ignore it as a temporary trend.

The news came yesterday night when founder told me that Tempo Media will make a new feature in its online edition entitled Blog Pekan Ini (Blogger of the Week). Once I have time to browse I did find what he said. In its introduction, the Tempo online editor says
TEMPO Interaktif, Jakarta: Mulai pekan ini, Tempo Interaktif menampilkan rubrik baru Blog Pekan Ini. Kriteria pemilihannya adalah adalah Blog -- berbahasa Indonesia, Inggris ataupuan daerah ... (From this week, Tempo Interaktif will show a new feature i.e. Blogger of the Week. All Indonesia blogs written in English, Bahasa Indonesia or local dialect will serve the criteria to be reviewed)

It's still unclear to me whether the reviewed blog will show up in its print edition as well.

I am so happy upon Tempo initiative at least for two reasons:
First, it means the mainstream media have seen blogs not only as a kid playing ground or an IT-geek-testing field. They starts if not already see Indonesia blog and its content as part of people voices that need to be paid attention for. Because people voices have --one way or another-- people power, whatever this term means.

Second, it will spread the blogging culture into speedier pace. When it happens, when all people who can access the internet are interested to blog, something big will happen: the turn-around of a culture. From tradition of talking into the culture of writing. When you desperately want to blog or write something, you cannot avoid another: reading. No one can make a decent writing without reading anything. So, if that happens, let's call it a 'green revolution.'

From the above two points, I need to congratulate the editorial board of Tempo Media for taking the first initiative. And from the same token, we, Indonesian bloggers, are waiting for other mainstream media like Kompas, Gatra, Republika, Media Indonesia, etc to play a more active role towards implementing the "green revolution." :)

Lastly, I think Budi Putra must've played a significant role on this. If that's right, thanks so much from me and from other Blogger Indonesia who agree with my point of view.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Now, it's time to affect social change!

Yesterday was a bright and sunny day in Jl. Balitung. A crowd of people had a chat under a big white tent. They were having tea, coffee, and light snacks. Some of them were having a serious discussion. I heard somebody was talking about education in Indonesia, while others were circling around an electronic braille-machine. Yet, a burst of laughter could also be heard among the crowd.

Yes, there was an event at our office. Maverick was conducting a media briefing in its cozy garden. The briefing was aimed to share about the emerging corporate social leadership (CSL) concepts with the journalists. During the briefing, we also introduced our own CSL activity. Nowadays, companies should be actively participating in affecting positive change within society. Companies are part of the society, too…

For those interested to further explore about CSL, please refer to my op-ed article published in Suara Pembaruan on the same day. You can click the following link.

Ong Hock Chuan, Technical Advisor from Maverick, was in the briefing to talk about the basic concept of corporate social leadership. Lita Soenardi, Partner in Maverick, was also present to share with the audience about how Maverick has implemented the program. Since CSL principle asks a company to align its social program with its business core competence, Maverick has decided to give communication capacity building training to the needy non-profit organisations.

Our first beneficiary was Yayasan Mitra Netra. For a year, Yayasan Mitra Netra was receiving our thorough training. We expect that the acquired knowledge and skill will help them to achieve their objectives and will generate more support from wider public.

Aria Indrawati, public relations from Yayasan Mitra Netra was also present among the panel speakers. She shared with the audience about the benefit she gained from attending the training.

Among others who attended the briefing were Amna S. Kusumo, Director of Yayasan Kelola-Arts, and Riswan Lapagu, Director of Centre for Betterment of Education (CBE). These two non-profit institutions are the next participants of our training for this year.

So, who says SMEs cannot do community empowerment?

It must be the season for boys!

The editor of SWA Magazine, Eva Martha Rahayu gave birth to a boy end of April. A beautiful name has been given to the baby boy: "Mohammad Rafshah Akbar Ali"... welcome to the world, dear!

And.. that's not the only one. The wife of journalist of Sinar Harapan Danang Joko also gave birth to a baby boy sometime about two weeks ago. The parents are still in the process of collecting ideas for the baby's names. Any suggestion for them? ;)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Reuters Jakarta looking for correspondent

This was sent out by the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents' Club.

REUTERS seeks a general news correspondent to be based in its Jakarta bureau.
The individual chosen would concentrate on coverage of the Indonesian political and social situation, including cultural and ethnic matters, conflicts, disasters, foreign relations, and high profile court cases and other legal issues. The post also requires backing up our economic section. Travel to other parts of Indonesia, including hostile environments, on short notice will be required from time to time. Fluency in written and spoken English is a must, and prior experience and educational achievements will be taken into account. Interested parties should send a covering letter and CV to . No phone calls please. Deadline for receipt of applications is May 17, 2006.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Tempo caught passing off advertorial as editorial

Tempo, regarded by many as Indonesia's foremost current issues magazine, has been taken to task by the quaintly named Voice of Human Rights news Center. Apparently, Tempo had carred an eight page advertorial titled Acknowledgement and Clarification by the developers of Kemoyoran - one week after it carred out a blistering investigative piece on the developer. The problem with the advertorial was that it was virtually undistinguishable from editorial copy as it had the same font and layout without any note explaining that it was bought space.

According to The Jakarta Post article Tempo said the gaffe was because the advertiser sneakily submitted the advertorial copy just before presstime, thus slipping by their safeguards.

Sounds like spin to me. Which respectable publication would allowd advertorial copy to have the same look and feel as its editorial copy, no matter when the advertising copy came in?

This practice of trying to pass off bought space, alas, is prevalent in the industry. But who woudl watch the watchdogs of society?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Another free mag - Gorgeous

This is another instance of how vibrant the free magazine scene is in Jakarta. Gorgeous , a free magazine devoted to beauty and makeup, has just hit the streets this month.

The premier edition features VJ Cathy and has an interesting article on celebrity skin doctor Dr Susi. The magazine is edited by X. Xiavero and word has it that the team there is very young and make up for their lack of experience with their enthusiasm

Story from the Gate of a Shopping Mall

I went to a famous shopping mall in Jakarta last weekend. Soon after I approached the gate, a security officer raised his hand, showed his palm, and asked me to open the door and the trunk for him to inspect the car.

I am always puzzled with the routine here: he was pushing his Garret metal detector half way in to the car underneath my chair and did the same in the trunk. Beep-beep. And that was it.

Of course, if you ask him, he would say that he was looking for a bomb. But the stupidest man on earth would know that he could not find a bomb in the car by only pushing in the stick into the car, beep-beep-ing it, open the trunk, and close it again. What if the bomb was planted inside the backseat of the car? Or what if the bomb was wired around my body?

Besides, I am not sure he knows what to do if he finds a car full of bombs. Will he shout? Will he ask for help? Will he call the police? Or will he be stunned there staring at the car?

There is a bigger issue actually at stake here. Long time ago, contractarian theorists, like Thomas Hobbes, let us know that to ensure your freedom you have to make concessions to the authority. You have to give some of your freedom to be exchanged with common goods, for example security.

What these people supposed to do at gate of the mall is exactly this: providing security. They receive legitimacy from us giving our freedom in exchange for this common good.

If they don’t do it properly, they are invading our privacy, instead. Our cars are private properties and they cannot just break in unless we have agreed to let them do so. We agree, following Hobbes, because we believe that they will take care of our security.

I am starting to think that if they can’t and don’t take care of our security properly, why would we want to have our privacy be invaded?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Who Owns Jak TV?

Just who owns what in the media is something that we are obsessed about knowing as a PR company. One thing that has struck me as strange are the links between the Mahaka, Salim and Artha Graha Groups. here's why:

About a week ago, I looked at Indosiar’s website and noticed that it had links to Republika, Harian Indonesia, JakTV, Radio One, and Elshinta.

That Indosiar is linked to Harian Indonesia is not unusual since both are owned by the Salim Group. But links to Republika and Radio One (belonging to Eric Thohir’s Mahaka Group) and Jak TV ( Artha Graha Group)? Are they all huddling together for strength in numbers?

About 3 days after that, I bumped into a friend who works as a reporter in Jak TV. She told me that Tommy Winata (from Artha Graha Group), Erick Thohir, and DKI Jakarta’s governor, Sutiyoso all have shares in jakTV, but she had never heard anything about Jak TV’s involvement with Salim Group. So is there a link? Anyone out there can shed some light on whether there is a Salim connection?

media ownership_,

Moshi Moshi Party

On April 6th, 2006, Maverick held its annual media gathering event, the “Moshi Moshi Party”.

The Mavericks, all dressed up in Japanese costume (yukata), were welcoming their fellow journalists at Yoshi’s—a comfortable Japanese restaurant at Dharmawangsa Square.

Most of the journos were surprised when they saw us in colorful kimono, yelling cheerfully:“MOSHI MOSHI!”. Some of them hardly recognized us.

Before “Moshi Moshi Party”, Maverick had held a Cap Goh Meh Night and Bollywood Party. We love to surprise our fellow journos with different unique theme; and pampering their eyes with our “cultural” look—not to mention that the Mavericks just love to dress up! ☺

It turned out that Indonesian journalists are courageous. Since lots of them dare to compete in our one and only “Wasabi eating championship”. We had prepared 15 balls of wasabi in a bowl (each wasabi-ball is around 0.5 cm in diameter)—and the first person to eat all the wasabi balls wins the championship.

Jalu from Soccer tabloid becomes our Wasabi man that night. He received an iPod Nano for his valiant efforts.

Just wait for our next media gathering! More surprises to come!

New Style Magazine Coming

As I was just walking out of Plaza Senayan today after a lunch with Donna, a friend from Angkasa magazine, a stylish woman caught my eye. It was Lulu Fuad, who used to be an editor in BusinessWeek magazine. It turns out that she left the news magazine and has taken a managing editor position in a new bi-monthly magazine to be launched soon called Solitaire Indonesia.

This new magazine is the Indonesian version of the Singaporean Solitaire magazine, which covers stories on jewellery fashion and watch trends. You'll learn a lot about gems, jewellry designs, the newest watch styles from this magazine. You can even find out which celebrity is wearing what jewellry.

I'm not sure yet when the magazine will be officially launched, but it is planned to be distributed in Java, Sumatra, Bali and Sulawesi. It'll also be available to an upmarket clientele via exclusive restaurants, coffeehouses, spas, beauty salons, golf and
country clubs and all major hotels throughout Indonesia.

For those of you who love to accessorize, this may be the perfect magazine for you!media_,

Some stabilitas for the risk market

What sort of a magazine calls itself Stabilitas and who’s behind it?

Curious from reading the magazine and seeing it in newsstands some Maverick consultants paid the magazine, situated in Kemang for a visit. This is what we found:

STABILITAS began publishing in October 2005 with the aim of educating the banking industry players on banking services and products with reliable information from credible sources such as BI deputies, bankers and economists. It also is focused on risk management.

The brainchild of Bank Indonesia and 100% owned by Yayasan Bank Indonesia, 60% of the magazine’s editorial space is taken up with its own reportage while 40% is information directly supplied from BI.

The magazine has four editors who also double up as reporters for the magazine’s sections, which are cover story, lifestyle, technology and risk management. It also covers coverage on the market, bonds, loans, corporate profiles, risk, interview, technology, BPR (Bank Perkreditan Rakyat), SMEs, Syariah banking and celebrities, with a financial focus.

The magazine aims at management level employees whose businesses are heavily dependent on BI regulations. Sounds like a captive audience to us. We asked Pak Tatang Tamam, the magazine’s vice editor whether the magazine could be critical of BI. He said rather diplomatically that that is not the purpose of the magazine at the moment.

Name of Media : STABILITAS
Genre : Risk management and banking magazine
Chief Editor : Krisna Wijaya
Circulation : 9.000
Frequency : monthly
Price : Rp. 22.500,-
Language : Bahasa
Company Address : Gedung LPPI
Jl. Kemang Raya No.35
Jakarta Selatan 12730
Tel. 718 2680 (editor in chief)
Tel. 718 2780, 7182860 (marketing)
Fax. 718 2760


What A Cool Place We are Working At

It’s Friday ….., the last working day before the week end, a day most people are looking forward to …. And you can see it by how the people are dressed down, the sound of laughter and chit chat.

So, why are people so happy toward the weekend? Well, I don’t think I need to elaborate the obvious.

Accordingly, I believe it is very important to make our working environment as enjoyable as it could be, in terms of the work place as well as the work culture. Dealing with clients is stressful enough, so I can’t imagine if my workspace is disorganized or on the contrary, a very orderly place.

For those who have not been to our office, let me describe it for you. It is located at Jalan Belitung, a high-end residential area just opposite Jalan Senopati, which is a two-minutes drive from The Jakarta Stock Exchange. There is a small public park in front of our office, that gives us greenery that cools down the hot Jakarta climate.

The two-storey house that has been converted to the Maverick office can be easily spotted with its orange gate (that corresponds with our corporate color). As you come in, you will see a Betawi chair set at the porch and on its left, a wooden garden table and chair set for 12. The Mavericks often have their meetings in these two seating areas. And don’t be surprised if they bring along their laptops while having a discussion at the porch.

Well, this is another cool thing about our office, it is equipped with a wi-fi. And, yes, all our permanent staff is equipped with their own laptops (most choose Macs).

When not working at the porch, people are working at their non-partitioned wooden desk. The working area is such an open space, that people can easily talk to each other, discuss ideas and share food! Most of the people also enjoy working with their favorite music on. So there are little audio speakers in most desks, along with pictures of friends and family, little cuddly characters and colorful cushions on the chair. There is even a small stony fountain with comforting sounds of dripping water on one of the desks (I think this is the coolest thing you can ever have on your working desk!).

However, all of the above are meaningless unless it is supported by a good work culture. In Maverick, people are always urged to speak up, their input and ideas are always appreciated, though control to working quality is stringent. Yet, we always encourage people to live a balanced life. This is why we are doing regular night-outs, having sumptuous luncheons whenever we get new businesses or celebrating somebody’s birthday and providing our permanent staff with a Personal Development Fund.

At Maverick, we want to create an environment that truly respects individuals, where values matter, where we can share in the joy of discovery of knowing and doing new things and celebrate each other’s successes. This is our way in making work meaningful to the lives we lead.

So who's behind Jurnal Nasional?

We have heard that a lecturer and market researcher by the name of Asto is behind the latest effort to launch a new national Bahasa Indonesia daily newspaper. Details are sketchy but already the market is rife with rumors that the newspaper, to be called Journal nasional, is backed up by Putera Sampoerna, SBY and who knows not. The rumors also say that the daily will attempt to do something different by sending to its subscribers news by sms.

The daily has apparently already recruited more than 10 senior reporters, poached form rival publications. It has also completed a training session for 25 junior reporters recently in Puncak. The launch date is supposed to be in June. The daily has already established its office in Kemang, opposite the Partai Demokrat offices.

Maverick Indonesia's attempts to contact Asto to verify these reports weren't successful but if some journalist were be enterprising enough to call them...

Media_,Media Ownership_,

World Press Freedom Day

On World Press Freedom Day asked our journalist friends what the day meant for them. The responses we got were a mixture of idealism and skepticism. Here's what they had to say:

Zaky Almubarok, Journalist, Koran Tempo:
“Tetap ingin bahagia, ketentraman hati dan ketenangan jiwa. Dan masih byk lg yg ingin gw capai, termasuk kenaikan gaji dr kantor. He...he...”

Dicky Kristanto, Journalist, LKBN Antara: “It means we’re heroes and we’ve saved the world. Basi ga sih... Hehe...”

Hizbullah Arief, Journalist, BusinessWeek:
“To be honest. I haven’t got my freedom yet ;-( “

Sarwani, Editor, Bisnis Indonesia: “I agree with Shakespeare ‘it is never good to bring bad news’..”

Riyadi Suparno, Managing Editor, The Jakarta Post:“Saya pribadi merasa bangga karena punya kebebasan dalam bersuara di media sekarang ini. Dulu kita merayakannya dengan gloomy karena masih berada di bawah tekanan rezim pemerintah. Kalo sekarang kebebasan yang kita nikmati saat ini sudah setara dgn negara2x lain. Di samping itu, menurut saya, kita harus berusaha menyebarkan kebebasan pers ini ke rekan-rekan media di negara tetangga, mereka yang masih mengalami tekanan dan belum memiliki kebebasan dalam bersuara, seperti di Malaysia misalnya”.

Wicaksono, Managing Editor, Koran Tempo: “Kebebasan pers itu omong kosong jika jurnalis hidup dalam tekanan pemerintah yang otoriter dan publik yang anarkis.”

Algooth Putranto, Journalist, Bisnis Indonesia: "ngga ngaruh!!!...kebebasan di indonesia malah udah kebablasan...apalagi soal wartawan infotainment..."

Kornelius Purba, Editor, The Jakarta Post:
"The more subscribers and ads very helpful for us liberate us from being underpaid"

Aries Kelana, Editor, Majalah Gatra: "Bagi saya belum ada kebebasan pers. Masih banyak pers yang dibatasileh kepentingan penguasa, pemilik modal atao pengurusnya sendiri, meski pers sudah menyajikan secara konsekwen"

Roesdiono Soedibyo, Senior Editor, Angkasa Magazine: “Bila Indonesia bisa lebih dewasa, kebebasan pers di negara ini bisa lebih baik. Sekarang ini, kontrol masih diperlukan di Indonesia.”

Cahyo Sasongko, Senior Editor, Kompas Cyber Media:
“Yang pasti, wartawan Indonesia itu many threats, less protection. Ada 3 unsur pelindung sekaligus ancaman: owner, state and society. Kita bermain di 3 unsur ini.”

Nasrullah Nara, Journalist, Kompas: "Ah, apalah arti sebuah hari? Bukankah hari kemarin, hari ini, dan hari esok, hanya dampak dari berpendarnya sang surya mengikuti sumbu rotasi bumi? Tapi yang pasti, di mana bumi dipijak di situ langit mengatapi. Artinya, tak satupun kebebasan yang independen dan bebas nilai. Kebebasan selalu mengikuti penuntutnya."

Jeany, Reporter, Suara Pembaruan: "sebenarnya gak perlu ada hari khusus untuk merayakan kebebasan pers karena kenyataannya kebebasan pers belum betul-betul dirasakan. Kalaupun ada pers yang bebas, malah kebabalasan seperti paparazi. Makanya, lebih baik balik ke diri pelaku pers. Punya keinginan untuk mewujudkan kebebasan pers atau tidak. dimulai dari manajemen, perusahaan, dan para jurnalis. supaya ketika menyuarakan sesuatu, kita betul-betul bebas berpendapat, tanpa disetir atau takut”

Fajar Martha, Journalist, Kompas: “Melihat ke dalam diri sendiri bahwa sebagai seorang jurnalis kita harus independen, menjaga jarak dengan nara sumber, menjaga jarak dengan waktu, dan melakukan kontemplasi. Itulah 3 prinsip yang harus dijaga oleh seorang jurnalis. Hari ini merupakan hari yang penting untuk merefleksikan ketiga prinsip tersebut, apakah kita sudah melakukannya dalam keseharian tugas kita atau belum...”

Henry Sianipar, BBC seksi Indonesia: "Budayakan hak jawab. Jawab kata2 dengan kata2, bukan dengan memenjarakan wartawan.!!"

Victor, AFP: "Politics of any nation and regime can suppress journalists but their spirit shall always prevail to reveal the truth of life’s many mysteries".

Tasya, NHK TV: "With freedom comes responsibility. In a country like IND, where most r still defining their newly found freedom, d press have d responsibility of providing the people with balanced and accurate info so the people can make a well informed decision. Journos are not entertainers, being sensational is not a journo’s job."

Dona, Journalist, Harian Pelita: "Bagi saya kebebasan pers itu bagus tapi tetap harus ada batasan agar tidak kebablasan dan sara"

Ulin Ni’am Yusron, Journalist, Kontan dan Ketua Divisi Serikat Pekerja AJI Indonesia: “Hari kebebasan bagi para pekerja media untuk lebih memberi kesempatan bagi orang-orang yang tertindas untuk bersuara di media. Dia harus menjadikan dirinya sebagai corong aspirasi masyarakat, corong bagi masyarakat yg geram melihat korupsi, fasilitas publik yang rendah, dan kesejahteraan rakyat yang tidak kunjung membaik. Kini saatnya kita meminta pemerintah utk menghentikan segala bentuk intervensi dan campur tangannya terhadap kebebasan pers. Misalnya: KOMINFO yg menerbitkan berbagai aturan yg membelenggu kebebasan pers, budaya telepon yang dilakukan oleh istana kepada redaksi untuk tidak menyiarkan berita-berita yang kritis (seperti kasus Jusuf Kalla dalam Republik BBM, kasus Sekretariat Negara kepada redaksi KOMPAS dan Rakyat Merdeka beberapa waktu yang lalu). Praktek seperti itu masih berlangsung. Kita tidak akan membiarkan hal itu. Kami sadar bhw kebebasan pers bukan hadiah dari pemerintah, tapi hal ini harus direbut dan diperjuangkan!”

Disaster. Apologies.

Being new to blogging I inadvertently deletd the entire blog. Fortunately we managed to salvage some of the stuff we posted. So we'll be re-posting some posts. Sorry. Mea Culpa and I promise not to hit the delete button again.

One for the football fanatics

This week's rowdy labor demonstration gives no one any joy, so let’s hear some good news least for football fans.

Having (successfully?) prevailed over the controversial launching of Playboy Indonesia, the Velvet Silver Group is planning to launch the Indonesian edition of FourFourTwo, UK’s ultimate football magazine in June. Silver Sport Media is the company responsible for this.

The magazine will have 80% foreign generated copy and 20% locally generated ones.

Indonesian football fanatics normally get their copies of FourFourTwo from bookshops that sell foreign magazines. This magazine does not come cheap, but it is worth the price because it is recognized as UK’s biggest-selling football monthly that provides reliable information on football. It features exclusive interviews with prominent figures in football, and commentary on all aspects of the game worldwide. The magazine took its name from a football formation of the same name.

FourFourTwo has also launched its online version at the end of 2004, aiming at presenting up-to-the-minute updates from the fields. Premium TV, Europe’s largest digital sports publisher, manages the online version.

So the bottom line is that football fanatics in Indonesia will be able to get the quality of an internationally acclaimed football magazines with a local touch, and of course, a local price. Ole, ole,ole...