Sat, 08 Oct 1994

Internal trouble brewing at `Suara Pembaruan'

JAKARTA (JP): Trouble is brewing Suara Pembaruan, one of Indonesia's oldest and leading daily newspapers, with many of its journalists accusing the management of failure to improve the daily's waning performance.

The journalists, both younger and senior members of the staff, blame the daily's declining circulation and poor editorial performance on General Manager Albert Hasibuan and Editor-in- Chief Sutarno because "they are incapable of managing Suara Pembaruan in a professional way."

Yesterday, the disgruntled journalists of the Jakarta-based evening paper planned to take their case to the House of Representatives (DPR). However, they failed to meet the members of the dominant Golkar faction they wanted to see because they were held up by traffic. The journalists turned up at the DPR building later than they had planned.

The journalists said they will return to see the legislators next Wednesday.

One Suara Pembaruan journalist, who requested anonymity, told The Jakarta Post that the daily's editorial problems include the duplication of news stories in a single edition, incorrect editing, and poor news selection.

He said that more than 50 journalists, including seniors ones, are opposing the daily's present management policy.

They blamed the management for failing to fulfill their promise to improve the daily's performance, which also involves the journalists' welfare.

The management's authoritative stance was shown when it temporarily relieved six journalists of their duties because they had the "courage to offer improvement concepts" last year. The journalists were later reinstated.

"The improvements they promise never materialize," he said.

The Indonesian Journalists Association, and the Ministry of Information, at the urging of the journalists, have reportedly advised the daily's management to solve the problem, but no response has been made.

"We have become impatient, and without any intention to degrade the management, we're lodging our complaint with Golkar," he said. (par)