Thu, 11 May 2000

Journalistic code of ethics

In your May 9, 2000, edition it was reported that on May 8, 2000, Governor Sutiyoso inspected defiant parking lot operators.

In this news item, The Jakarta Post referred to the governor as one "who has been under fire for his alleged role in the July 27, 1996, forcible takeover of the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party".

I consider these remarks inappropriate, having no direct relevance to the news being reported, which essentially dealt with the problem of parking lot operators. In that context, the above quoted comment was unfair to the individual, and also to the exalted position he holds as the governor of this great city.

I hope that this leading English-language newspaper of Indonesia, truly a window on the rest of the world, will set an example for high journalistic codes of conduct.

A value-based society can be built only on ethical grounds and all of us, whichever role we play, must strive to create a healthy climate of goodwill and understanding.