Sat, 26 Apr 2003

The `Post' celebrates 20th anniversary

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Up to 1,000 friends and distinguished guests of The Jakarta Post joined in the celebration of the daily's 20th anniversary, which fell on April 25, reaffirming once again its life-long commitment to press freedom and a better Indonesia.

Non-governmental organization activists, watchdog activists, experts, analysts, politicians, business people and the ambassadors and representatives of over 70 countries attended the cocktail party held in the ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel on Friday evening.

Crossing the threshold of adulthood, the Post, which currently is the only national English-language newspaper in Indonesia, is determined to keep improving itself as a respected newspaper.

"A lifespan of 20 years means a confirmation and recognition that this is a paper that the readers can trust in ... for the beliefs, philosophy, vision and values it embraces," Jusuf Wanandi, a member of the board of directors of the Post's publisher, PT Bina Media Tenggara, said in his welcoming address.

Jusuf also thanked the readers and advertisers for "being loyal during the difficult years in our recent past", and hoped for their continued support.

"I thank you for your conviction that Indonesia really needs an English language newspaper par excellence that has a wide readership regionally and internationally," Jusuf said.

Created in 1983 by four partners, the daily has become the reference for the ideas and aspirations that lived in the community, both Indonesians and expatriates, during the authoritarian regime of Soeharto.

It has also survived the prolonged economic crisis and intense competition among the newspapers and magazines, the numbers of which mushroomed after Soeharto's resignation in mid-1998 -- a situation that has since forced many publications to go to the wall.

The party was enlivened by the presence of a quartet from the Twilite Orchestra, which was established by acclaimed music arranger Addie M.S., and Mexican-style Batak (North Sumatra ethnic group) singers from the Oasis Combo group.

However, not all journalists and staff could manage to attend the party due to tight deadlines.

To mark the celebration, the Post will also hold a public seminar on "Strategy for Indonesia's Economic Development" on Monday in the ballroom of the Hotel Mulia in Central Jakarta between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.