Monday, February 26, 2007

Selling the country

On Friday, 23 February 2007, we got Muhammad Al Aula for sharing session. He is a young diplomat from Indonesian Department of Foreign Affair. The two-hour discussion was so hot and lively, that we forgot there was another event to attend to.

We discussed many things, especially his experience as a diplomat. He shared with us what are the responsibilities of a diplomat. But in this session he gave more emphasis on public diplomacy -- communicating Indonesian foreign policy toward the Indonesian citizens first.

When we hear about that, we just thought how complicated the role of diplomats. They must make complicated decisions, and still they have to balance the national interest with public opinions established by the press.

It is quiet interesting to know how the department of foreign affair is doing their job. One of which interest me is how they approach prominent and influential leaders through a “breakfast meeting” to create awareness, change perception, and drive action. Well, to this part, it sounds pretty much like a PR practitioner -- in a sense that we also like to treat certain people for lunch or diner of course. :)

I think it is a good step to communicate to the public about Indonesian foreign policy. As the Indonesian society is patriarchic, people would believe respected individual leader, rather than the mass media for instance. :(

Aula also share that Department of Foreign Affair has been reforming itself for many years. Unfortunately they don’t socialize very well which make people’s perception the department stand still.

From the discussion, we can also learn that they haven’t really pushed the envelop, as they have so much potential, partly because the short numbers of diplomats. I hope in the future Department of Foreign Affair is more proactive to communicate what they have done, and why they make such measures.

But most important is what Aula calls the second track diplomacy. Any Indonesian can be the ambassador of the country, through interactions with people from other countries. Thus, every Indonesian must understand the nation’s foreign policy, so we can achieve the goal together.

Sounds like a great idea, isn’t it?

*written by Tuhu

Friday, February 23, 2007

FEMALOGRAPHY: a photo exhibition by Jerry Aurum

Jerry Aurum, a young and talented Indonesian photographer, finally holds his photo exhibition in Indonesia. Themed “Femalography”, this photo exhibition will be held in Senayan City from February 23rd – March 11th, 2007.

Jerry held his first international photo exhibition in September 2006 in Singapore. On the same day, he also launched the “Femalography” book. The book was chosen as “The 2nd Best Recommended Book” by Borders Bookstore, Singapore. What an achievement!

In yesterday’s press conference, Jerry said that in his artworks he positioned women as the subjects, not as objects. When asked, “How do you choose your models? It seems that all of your models are beautiful young celebrities in Indonesia”.

Jerry said, “That’s not true. Actually, in the Femalography book and photo exhibition there are more ordinary women than the famous ones. For me, the most important thing in choosing a model is that the model has to be able to express herself. So, it doesn’t matter whether she’s famous or not. She also doesn’t have to be skinny or has a perfect body image”.

For the past 5 years, Jerry has been preparing the Femalography project. More than 100 people from different background contributed in the project. Rachel Maryam, Aline, Dian Sastro, Dinna Olivia, Endhita, Adella Aletta, VJ Cathy, Indah Kalalo were voluntarily posing for Jerry. If it’s not because of his talents, for sure these celebrities won’t participate in Femalography.

“There are not many Indonesian photographers publish a book. So, in Indonesia, we don’t have that much literature or reference in photography. So, it’s very good that Jerry decided to publish a book of his artworks. His artworks are impressive”, said Andi Dewanto, a journalist of Tempo magazine.

For those who love photography, you can drop by at the Exhibition Space, Senayan City to enjoy 40 photographs by Jerry Aurum. The Femalography book is now available at Kinokuniya and Aksara bookstores.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

KONTAN: the Newspaper

On KONTAN 27 September 2006 10th anniversary, Editor in Chief Yopie Hidayat told Maverick that Kontan will publish a newspaper under the same name on February 2007. Guess what?! They are definitely on schedule.

The first issue of KONTAN newspaper will be published on Monday, 26th February 2007. I heard the news directly from one of the 30 new reporters they have hired for the daily.

As for the tabloid, they are moving the publication from Wednesdays to Sundays. So, for you KONTAN tabloid readers out there, who mostly living in Medan, Jakarta, or Surabaya, hope the newspaper will satisfy you as it is the tabloid.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

'BRAVO' for children!

Penerbit Erlangga is well-known as publisher of text books. Since elementary school through high school, I saw the word "Penerbit Erlangga" printed in most of the text books I used. However, I just heard the news that Erlangga has published children’s magazine entitled BRAVO.

BRAVO is a magazine targeted for children age 8-12, and “aimed to equip children in pursuing their dreams” as stated by Uti, a contributor of this magazine. BRAVO is now available in news stalls in Jabodetabek area.

Bravo, BRAVO!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Para Group’s next move

I’ve heard a rumor that Para Group (Chairul Tanjung) is eyeing Indosiar and SCTV to further expand his media ownership in this country. The source said that Indosiar and SCTV would soon be transformed into Trans 8 and Trans 9 respectively.

Early this month, Tanjung was also reported to probe a deal with Dahlan Iskan on Jawa Pos group shares purchase (Tempo Interaktif, Feb 7)

Well if that is so, the media tycoon is about to spread his wings even wider then.

Monday, February 19, 2007

TOFI: pride of the nation

Last Friday in Maverick sharing session, we were delighted to the company of two lovely young ladies, Lidya and Nouva, as the PR of the Indonesian Physics Olympiads Team (TOFI).

First, let’s get one thing straight because as it might be a name of a team, TOFI is also an NGO. The NGO is pioneered by Yohanes Surya, Agus Ananda, Roy Sembel and Joko Saputro thirteen years ago. But the most important of all, this NGO has realized the importance of PR in delivering their mission to make physics as a fun and easy subject.

Well most of us, by now, may have already known that our beloved country has oftentimes triumphs the International Physics Olympics (IPhO). Yes, thanks to some of our mass media concerns and TOFI’s PR team, of course. But have any one of us known how these gifted teens managed participate in such Olympics in the first place?

For a start, every year TOFI together with the National Education Ministry is searching for the national best physics students through a series of competitions. The first test is in the regency level where students have to compete to be the provincial winners. These winners of the provincial selections then compete for a place to represent their Provinces in the National Science Olympics (OSN). OSN nests national champions who will compete for the best eight and become members of TOFI. Ultimately, these best eight will compete in the Asian Physics Olympics (APhO) and the International Physics Olympics.

If you think this is the end, you’re wrong. As TOFI members, these high school students will undertake training carried out in TOFI Center in BSD City, Tangerang for months – which everyone enjoys very much. :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

PC Magazine Indonesia's last edition

PC Magazine Indonesia, a leading computer magazine that has been published since 2004, starting next month will be no longer available in the market. Svida Alisjahbana, Vice President Femina Group on the official announcement written in February edition explains that due to the shifted trend of reading source, Femina Group has to terminate the publishing. Here is her explanation:

“Perkembangan yang pesat dalam beberapa tahun terakhir telah mengubah Teknologi Informasi dari suatu bidang khusus menjadi gaya hidup yang diterima oleh semua golongan masyarakat… Melalui analisa dan pertimbangan mendalam, kami berpendapat sudah bukan masanya lagi untuk menyajikan perkembangan Teknologi Informasi dalam suatu majalah khusus. Dengan sangat menyesal kami sampaikan bahwa PC Magazine Indonesia edisi Februari 2007 merupakan edisi terakhir kami.”

Curious to know what is really happened behind it, I called up our journo friend in PC Magazine Indonesia. He admitted that Indonesian readers begin to rely on online media as their source to know “what’s on” in IT industry, and it’s interesting that online media has been considered as a reliable source.

When I asked him about the decreased number of PC Magazine Indonesia’s readers as the side effect of this trend, he said the number of reader remains stable, and even though the decrease would happen, it wouldn’t be a reason for Femina Group to stop publishes PC Magazine Indonesia.

Looking to other publication run by Femina Group that has their specific theme, such as Femina, FIT, Cita Cinta, Gadis, AyahBunda, Men’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Dewi, Pesona, Seventeen, and Parenting, is it mean that Femina Group want to combine IT information to these media? or Femina Group plans to publish another computer magazine online?

We’ll wait and see…or maybe Femina Group would answer these questions?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Busway? No waaayyy...

It supposed to be a nice comfortable public transportation that Pemprov Jakarta has promised and also be the answer for the city’s public transportations sad quality problem – but what turned out was really bad service quality provided by TransJakarta management. There were only limited busway units that should go running in service for thousand people. Republika wrote that only 10 new units are provided to serve four new corridors. The remaining units will be put into service in the following months. If that is the case, why can’t they just wait to operate ‘til the whole units are completed? hhmmm...

I experienced it myself last night in Busway Corridor 4 (Dukuh Atas). There were hundred of people flocked in the shelter bus with very minimum of air supplies for sure! When the bus came, the situation was getting even horrible; everyone tried ‘hardly’ getting in the bus by pushing one another.

Couldn’t stay longer in the situation like this, I called up my husband to pick me up instead.

On the way back home, we argued on who should be blamed for this and what sort of things can actually be done to resolve it. From my side, I think people here are not ready yet to adopt better facilities that require high level of discipline. Discipline in queuing is the most vital one and that’s precisely what our people lack of. How possible it is to enjoy a nice, comfy busway ride without even bothering to line up. Ckckckckc...people!

Am also wondering whether local govt had expressed their apology for this very unfortunate condition, which I think, is a must. At least let people know that you guys are also very much concerned and assuring them for immediate improvement at the soonest.

Click Of The Week: Andreas Harsono

For this Click Of The Week, Tuhu has already make up his mind and choose Andreas Harsono's blog. In his blog, we also able to read about his story as a newly wed. Tuhu said that
Andreas Harsono’s blog is very interesting, because it depicts his personal day to day life stories as a journalist, book author, a new husband, and a caring father.
In his life as a journalist we can find writings on his passion to support the many struggling minorities in Indonesia. In his blog he tells stories on his travels around Indonesia from Sabang all the way to Merauke, and his exposure of the many different ethnic minorities’ and their struggles.
We can read these stories and his findings in the articles published in his blog, or the anthology book that he plans to publish soon.
In the blog Andreas also shares his personal life stories. You can find stories on love life, new wife, family and his relationship with his son. He tells the public all types of details of what is happening in his life.
"I think it’s sweet, because he is giving a glimpse of his life. His writings in the blog show his “humanistic” point of view, instead of “journalistic” jibber jabber. He conveys to us his dreams, his daily life, and his opinions about his country in a truthful, unedited, compelling and simple writings," said Tuhu.

Monday, February 12, 2007


A few days ago, I had lunch with a friend of mine. He used to work as a program director for several well-known radio stations in Jakarta, before finally pursue his passion in music industry and join a digital music distribution company.

Anyway, on the way back to the office, he mentioned that lately, he and his wife watched late-night news program on a daily basis to find out up-to-date information on the Jakarta’s flood. Turned out, he got so annoyed by the performance of late-night news presenters in several private TV stations in Indonesia.

In his opinion, these news presenters were acting and dressing more like infotainment presenters: they move back and forth on stage, then sit down, and stand up again while delivering the news, they wear informal dress with too much accessories, they put on these curly wigs with bright color (the model worn in sinetrons), and the intonation of their speech sounds so ‘infotainment’*--while according to his experience, there are certain tones and intonations that should be used by news presenters.

“News presenters are supposed to be firm, right? You’ll never find such news presenter perform that way in Al-Jazeera, BBC, DW-TV, just name it! Where are those days when a woman like Desi Anwar stood firmly in front of the camera and deliver professional TV journalism?” he murmured.

After I watched the late-night news program, I kind of understand why he and his wife got so annoyed—why, his wife is a mass communication lecturer, and she knows exactly how a news presenter should dress up!

Ideally, a “news anchor” or “news presenter” is someone who appears on screen in professional dress (a suit, a blazer), delivering the news in certain intonation with a firm gesture (and I heard there are special trainings for becoming news presenters!). But, I don’t know if these ‘infotainment-style' tendency has becoming a new trend in Indonesian late-night news program... does it mark the birth of 'newstainment' of some sort?

Probably because the news program was aired late at night, the TV stations thought that colorful wigs, constant movements, and fancy dress would be tremendously eye-catching; it prevents you from falling asleep while watching the news. Or the stations are just lacking of night-shift news presenters?

Hmm, are there certain patterns to follow in news anchoring? Anyone can shed some lights here?

*I have nothing against infotainment presenters. Really. They’re supposed to wear fancy dress and accessories. So, no offense! :)

note: image was taken from Corbis, with keyword tv program

On blog code of ethics

An interesting topic above was discussed last Friday during sharing session with our special guests – Mas ‘Ndoro Kakung’ Wicaksono and Mas Budi Putra from Tempo. Big thanks for these Indonesian leading bloggers for dropping by.

It was really a perfect time for us to have them around since we were really curious on their opinions about blog code of ethics. This was related to one of the Mavericks’ ‘unpleasant’ experience with her recent blog posting about a complaint to an organization.

Through a lively session Mas Budi shared his comment that blog must have certain rule to follow. The fact that blog has become accessible anytime anywhere and by everyone - then the content must be based on the facts that bloggers have experienced. Meaning, not any single of bluffs is allowed!

Important to note that blog is one of the new media for everyone to express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings on any issues they are interested in. Thus, bloggers have the absolute rights to voice their opinions and have feedbacks/comments from their links.

A good example brought up was Sun Microsystem case. One of their customers posted his disappointment on the product through blog. Soon after, the CEO of the company replied him by admitting the company’s lack of service and therefore he apologized for the unfortunate condition. He emphasized in a polite way that nothing on this earth are perfect and that would include one of their failed products. Also, he ensured that the same thing wouldn’t happen again in the future.

Yeap, The CEO had successfully made a respective image towards the company! This example reflected the blog power as one of the effective medium for corporate to stay close with customers and be updated on what’s going on with them.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Indonesian Broadcasting Comission: a new Formation

The broadcasting industry is one of the fast-growing industry in Indonesia. Believe it or not, presently there are more than 50 TV stations, national and local, and hundreds of radio stations through out the nation. Although oftentimes the public expresses concerns over the quality of programs being offered, mostly by national TV stations, the industry is persistently growing, with few mergers here an there.

As an influential industry, one that can create public awareness, drive perceptions, and propose actions, the broadcasting industry, as many other industries, needs a set of rules. Here comes the Broadcasting Law No. 32/2002 and thus the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), responsible to make, implement, and sanction regulations to the broadcasting industry, TV and radio stations.

Some might say that in the last three years, the Commission has done little, even failed, to change the industry to favor the general public interests -- that is for stations to provide other than violence, pornography, and supernatural programs. While advocators feel that the public should have faith in the Commission -- as it is not its fault that other government institution is trying hard to take away its authority.

Well, last Monday to Thursday, the Communication Commission of the House of Representatives has conducted fit and proper tests on 36 candidates for the new members of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission. The result is a new 9-member-formation announced yesterday.

Congratulations to M. Izzul Muslimin, Fetty Fajriati, S. Sinansari ecip, Bimo Nugroho Sekundatmo, Selamun Yoanes Bosko, M. Riyanto, Sasa Djuarsa Sendjaja, Amar Ahmad and Yazirwan Uyun as the new members, and be prepared as difficult tasks awaiting.

Notice that the new formation consist of names from the industry, which was never been a part of the previous members’. Hopefully with industry representatives, the Commission is now equipped with experienced know-how and, at the same time, gained industry’s support.

For me, if it’s damn hard to drive the industry into the right direction, why not prepare the public for the journey. Media literacy has always been an effective way to equipped the public that the control is actually in their hand. Let the public choose what to see and listen, and what’s not.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Maverick Click Of The Week: Duncan Graham

Some journalist, used their blog as a news-shelf, a place where they can put all their articles that have already published.
One of them is Duncan Graham, a foreign freelance journalist who lived in Surabaya.
In his blog you can see almost all his article about Indonesia. His articles are quite vary and very interesting. Mersa, who chose his blog for this Maverick click of the week, said:

I picked Mr. Duncan Graham’s blog, ( because I feel his blog has an interesting point of view, the view of a foreigner that has adapted with the East Javanese lifestyle. He seems to me to be a lofo (local foreigner hehehehhehe………), a person who understands the East Javanese people, culture and habits but is somehow always trying to rationalize it with his western upbringing. Which we all know some times doesn’t fit well with one another.
But all in all I think that state of confusion gives him a broader sense of thinking because it makes him think outside the box. He isn’t confined to one pattern of thought. In a sense he is a ‘bi-cultural’ man and it shows in his writings which are rational, indiscriminate, truthful and most of all an unapologetic. All of that I believe is reflected in one of his writings which he posted in his blog titled “A Jelly Bean Journalist in Surabaya” (
Sometimes perspectives from a far can give you a clearer view of an object but to get the details you must see it up close. I think because Mr Graham is a lofo, he has the rare talent to see Indonesia from the macro and micro point of view. And due to that and the other reasons above I am picking as the click of the week. Overall I want to say that after reading your blog I am a new D to the U to the N to the C to the A to the N to the G to the R to the A to the H to the A to the M fan, keep up the good work my Friend……………….. I mean Mr Duncan (hauhauahuahua).
Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mainstream Media Enters the Blogosphere

We have sung our praise for Tempo for entering the blogosphere through its Blog Tempo Interaktif recently.

Not only that The Jakarta Post will most likely follow suit, as written by Unspun, I’ve also been told that Bisnis Indonesia is also considering launching a blog. They’re still in the preliminary stage of determining the concept though. Just a thought… Something like what The Age has done is pretty neat.

Anyway, can’t wait to see how it all pans out!

Welcome to flood

Once again, our five-annually guest came to Jakarta: Flood. And it still amazed me what water can do to disrupt people in Jakarta.

I remember in 2002, when there’s also a heavy flood in Jakarta, many of my colleagues must take about three or five hours to get to the office. Usually they only take about half hour or at least one and half hours to get to the office.

This time, concern about the traffic in the street (I’m kind of a bad temper in the street….), I push my self to go to the office earlier. And it means that I have to take a bath before 05:00 p.m.

Flooding disaster this year, make me more amazed what water can do. And maybe it goes the same way with the government, they too amazed to the flood situation and they almost do nothing. (well, at least to some people…err…or to majority?)

I mean, this flooding disaster came every years, and it became worse every five years, and why government seem don’t have any plan about this? I remember that in the past two years, government always busy mumbling, even yelling, about busway project.

It doesn’t mean that busway project is not important, it is important. But do they realize about rainy season five-year cycle? Do they realize that they have to choose the priority for public?

That one thing, the other thing is:

I saw Bang Yos at the talkshow in Metro TV few days ago, sometimes in weekend if I’m not mistaken, he interviewed about flood disaster in Jakarta. One question from Metro TV announcer’s that still banging in my head is: “What government anticipation about flooding disaster this year?”

And Bang Yos answered: “Well, we distributed survival-boat more quickly, and develop more posko banjir, and distributed other survival-logistic faster….”


I thought ‘anticipation’ is some kind actions BEFORE something happen, not DURING the situation.

Well Bang Yos, maybe you need our juicy and fruitful Media Training Session.

note: photo was taken from corbis with keyword: flood in Jakarta.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Maverick Click Of The Week: Satrio Arismunandar

How do you like to see what’s behind the journalist mind? Please read Satrio Arismunandar blog’s. His blog was chosen by Adwi. Why Adwi did choose the blog? Here’s his explanation:

Here’s someone I think very experienced, considering that he has work both in print and broadcast media. And one thing worth noted is that a skilled PR practitioner he is -- although oftentimes denying this fact. We are not, however, going comment on Satrio Arismunandar the person. The main focus here is Satrio Arismunandar ( the blog. “For the Eagles and True Traveler,” is the tagline, as well as the purpose of this blog, I suppose. The blog itself is fairly simple: it has no side bars which most bloggers out there competing to stamp on their blogs. From the lay out, readers might thought this is a dull one. The straightforward writers focus on the content. Here readers can find many sorts of writings from poems, short stories, articles, to tips and tricks. To quote the writer, “a creation without the any benefits, is a waste….”

I was a former journalist, and sometimes journalist cannot express what they feel and think about some case that they find on the field. They can’t just write about it and submitted their article to editor’s for tomorrow edition. There is some media policy that kind of chained the journalist creativity, especially in reporting some critical issues.

Anyway Satrio Arismunandar has found a way to express his thought and feeling: bloging.
Good job Mr. Arismunandar, it's always nice to 'see' you around mailing list.

Will CSR (in Indonesia) loose its spirit?

Investor daily today, published an article on the government plan to issue the regulation on CSR practices.

The source in the article said that only 2% companies in Indonesia apply CSR. This reflected the low awareness of CSR practice among business players and the fact that CSR is not the matter they even consider about.

From my side, CSR is no longer responsibility when the government is involved in regulating it. Agree with Faisal Basri who was quoted in the article, he said, “With the government’s regulation, CSR would then loose its spirit”

Looking at the above small percentage, I believe the more important thing that government should do is a thorough examination on how to boost the number of CSR practitioners (companies) in Indonesia, without creating the sense of ordering people to do so.

The key word is ‘the awareness’, how to raise awareness is not as simply as issuing stiff regulation. Continuous and keen commitment from government to encourage companies could be translated into series of communications program or campaign.

The essence of CSR is the commitment from the companies to create better living in the society by putting your continues effort in it. CSR is no longer taken as the company’s cost but it is the investment for the future of the company itself.

Thus, I personally believe CSR is not the task that people can order you to do.

I can imagine many companies would only practicing CSR just for the sake of fulfilling their obligation to the government, that’s it! No sincere commitment from the companies to bring the betterment for the community they operate in.

If that happens, better use other terms then. How about Corporate Good ‘Responsibilities’?

(image was taken from corbis, with keyword: social responsibility)