Sat, 03 Jun 2000

'Antara' Bali has new chief

DENPASAR, Bali: Antara chief editor Mohamad Sobary installed on Friday Chandra Hamdani Noor as the head of the news agency's bureau in Bali, replacing IGB Alit Wiratmaja.

In his remarks, Sobary criticized the national press for abusing its freedom by allowing "a spill-over of anger and revenge". The phenomenon, he said, has spread fear, anxiety and threat.

He said the news agency, despite its link to the government, would maintain its independence without having to disregard social norms and press ethics.

"Professional journalism is reflected not only from the courage and freedom it exercises in expressing its criticism, but through the process of criticizing," Sobary said.

Antara was widely criticized in the past because of its lack of independence from government control.

The news agency employs no less than 300 journalists across the country, serving 70 dailies, television and radio stations.

Wiratmaja will be promoted as deputy managing editor of Antara head office in Jakarta. (zen)