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Collaboration of Community Elements is the Key to Success in the 2024 Peaceful Election

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By: Supyani Hidayati)*

Peaceful elections are not just about avoiding physical conflict, but rather creating space for healthy and in-depth debate. Peaceful elections reflect a sense of shared responsibility to build a common future, without leaving any traces of conflict that could damage the foundations of democracy. The success of peaceful elections also creates a conducive atmosphere for the formation of a stable and effective government.

Even though it has high values, realizing peaceful elections is not easy. Challenges arise from various aspects, such as intense political competition, ideological differences, and social tensions that can trigger conflict. Therefore, active participation from all levels of society, support from responsible media, and the role of professional security forces are the keys to overcoming potential conflicts.

The community has a very important role in ensuring the smooth running of peaceful elections. Equal political education, education about the importance of peaceful elections, and active participation in the democratic process are concrete steps that society can take. Understanding that differences of opinion are a natural part of democracy can form a political culture that is inclusive and values ​​diversity.

However, in the current era of digitalization, people’s literacy is largely influenced by the information they receive through news portals, social media, or even television or YouTube shows. One of the main references for the public in obtaining news is of course the mass media. Therefore, the 2024 Simultaneous Elections in Indonesia will not only be a test for the public and candidates, but also for the press as the fourth pillar of democracy. The vital role of the press in realizing peaceful elections is illustrated through various aspects including providing information, voter education, overcoming hoaxes, and maintaining the integrity of political reporting.

Members of the press have a big responsibility in presenting accurate, objective and balanced information regarding candidates, political parties and election issues. Thus, the press makes an important contribution to voters making informed decisions based on facts. The government’s initiative to encourage members of the press to focus on factual reporting is a positive first step.

Not only limited to conveying information, the press and media also play a role in encouraging voter participation. By providing information about the importance of elections, the process of registering as voters, as well as the rights and obligations of voters, the press can increase active public participation in the democratic process. This step is in line with the government’s vision to create elections that are more democratic and anti-hoax.

The Minister of Communication and Information, Budi Arie Setiadi, emphasized the importance of factual and educational reporting to avoid sensationalism. In this context, the role of the press as a counterweight to false information through fact-checking and critical reporting is very crucial.

In the current digital era, as previously stated, news distribution has a major impact on public perception. All parties, including the press and media, are expected to utilize digital spaces to correct misinformation or counter-hoaxes that have already developed in society, as well as support peace information, open space for public debate, and empower community intellectuals. The importance of avoiding news content that triggers polarization is highlighted, and the press is expected to play a constructive role in building public awareness.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Press Council, Ninik Rahayu, highlighted the importance of synergy between the press and the public. In this context, the media is not only a distributor of information but also a key player in shaping public views. By playing a constructive role, the press can advance common interests and democratic stability.

In line with Ninik, Domestic Politics Observer, Garvin Reviano, underlined the urgency of the role of the press in achieving peaceful elections. By creating a balanced information environment, the press provides understanding to the public, contributing to election security, fairness and transparency. This view emphasizes that synergy between the press and the public is the key to maintaining security conduciveness ahead of the elections.

Overall, through its critical role, the press is not only a witness to democracy but also an agent of change that leads society towards peaceful, fair and dignified elections. Synergy between the government, press and society is an important foundation in creating an electoral process that supports and strengthens Indonesian democracy.

The government has also stepped in to encourage the press and media to work together to safeguard peaceful elections in 2024 through declarations and statements of attitude as a sign of joint commitment to maintaining a safe and conducive situation. One of them was carried out by the Central Kalimantan Regional Police together with the editor-in-chief of the mass media and members of the local press who declared their support for creating peaceful elections in 2024. Apart from signing their signatures, members of the press also stated a four-point declaration of peaceful elections at the Central Kalimantan Regional Police, Wednesday (15/ 11/2023). In the declaration, all parties agreed to be ready to maintain a peaceful, safe, comfortable and dignified 2024 election for the benefit of the public. Apart from that, we are ready to comply with all regulations and orders related to conveying information to the public, providing accurate, neutral and objective information. Then, commit to avoiding the publication of news that is false, tendentious, misleading and sensational.

On the same occasion, the Central Kalimantan Regional Police Chief, Inspector General Pol Djoko Poerwanto, emphasized the importance of a spirit of togetherness and good communication looking towards the future. Inspector General Pol Djoko highlighted the important role of members of the press in providing education to the public, especially regarding peaceful and smooth elections. He also emphasized that cooperation in preventing hoaxes and maintaining regional security is very important, and this needs to be realized through joint commitment.

With good collaboration between the government, members of the press and the community, it is hoped that they can maximize the role of each part in creating peaceful, safe and dignified elections. Apart from that, support from various mass media as information distributors is a concrete step to maintain the integrity of the democratic process and make a positive contribution to society. No less important, adherence to political ethics must also not be abandoned in order to build a strong democratic system. Achieving peaceful 2024 elections is not just an end goal, but an ongoing process that strengthens democratic principles as a means of peaceful conflict resolution. 

)* The author is a pioneer of the Happy Election Movement in Kab. Jember

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