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Supporting the Role of the Mass Media in  Warding Off Hoaxes and Provocations  to Realize  Peaceful Elections

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By : Joanna Alexandra Putri )*

The 2019 election was a hot topic that enlivened social media timelines, even after the calculations were completed, it seemed as if it was difficult for the two presidential candidates to get along. Of course, such momentum is very prone to being infiltrated by hoax news and provocations that make society increasingly polarized. Therefore the media has a vital role in counteracting hoaxes and provocations solely for the sake of holding peaceful elections.

In order to realize peaceful elections, around 35 journalists from various print and electronic media in Yogyakarta have agreed to produce quality journalism and encourage the realization of a safe, democratic and peaceful 2024 election. Journalists are also committed to fighting hoax ahead of the election.

            This commitment was conveyed by journalists after participating in a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) entitled Press, Quality Journalism and Commitment to Promote Peaceful Elections at Hotel Royal Darmo Yogyakarta. The event was organized by the Indonesian Cyber ​​Media Association (AMSI) which was also supported by the Yogyakarta Regional Police.

            The event began with presentations by two speakers namely communication and press experts from the Islamic University of Indonesia (UII), Dr. Masduki MA and the AMSI Regional Coordinator for Central Java, East Java, DIY, Bali and NTB. In his presentation, Masduki explained that the media has a very important role in realizing democracy, because apart from fighting hoaxes, the press also serves the information needs of the public. Of course, the big role of the media needs to be supported. He also agrees that there is a government regulation related to publisher rights to be ratified immediately so that the media can get revenue to support their journalistic work to stay healthy.

            Platform digital masih menjadi rujukan paling banyak dari masyarakat. Namun, belum ada komitmen serius untuk menindaklanjuti akun maupun platform digital yang menerbar konten tentang ujran kebencian maupun hoax. Media digital masih menjadi rujukan paling banyak, tetapi belum ada sistem yang membatasi kalimat-kalimat negatif yang jika ditemukan maka akan langsung di-take down.

            Anton W Prihartono as Chair of AMSI DIY said that the media has a strategic role in realizing peaceful elections in 2024. The media as one of the pillars of democracy, of course, has an important role so that the upcoming election will be safe, peaceful and democratic. Media workers are required to produce quality journalism. Of course this can be realized if media crews stick to the journalistic code of ethics, Law Number 49 of 1999 concerning the press. If the commitment to these two rules is maintained, surely the hoax and click bait traps will not trap.

            Kasubdit I Ditintelkam Polda DIY AKBP Mochammad Nawawi, who was present representing the Kapolda DIY, expressed his appreciation to AMSI DIY for initiating peaceful elections with quality journalism. He also hopes that this moment can increase synergy and benefits for the public in the midst of the current election stages.

            Nawawi also mentioned that peaceful elections are a shared responsibility, not just the security forces. The role of the media is very important in realizing peaceful elections, so this moment must be continued by continuing to synergize with many parties.

            It should be noted that journalistic works from the press certainly prioritize balance and provide equal space and are not included in opinions, so that the information or news products presented must be precise and accurate. Moreover, the media also plays a role in rectifying, filtering information to counteract hoaxes.

            Currently, the condition of the press is far more free when compared to the authoritarian New Order era. However, this freedom does not mean making excuses that the press will publish provocative news.

            Ubaidilah as the head of the Central KPI stated that efforts to enforce news neutrality in broadcasting institutions were a challenge. According to him, this task is part of KPI’s authority in terms of supervising broadcast content at broadcasting institutions. He also said that the biggest spread of content was actually on social media. Starting from hoaxes and even SARA which is the trigger for the destruction of the media order.

            Rahmat Bagja as the Chairman of Bawaslu hopes that the upcoming 2024 election will be more peaceful and secure. He also explained that Bawaslu would further enhance its synergy with all stakeholders in 2023. This indicates that elections do not only belong to the organizers, but to all Indonesian people. So that the community should have the responsibility to maintain the atmosphere of the election so as to avoid various potential chaos such as the spread of hoax news or provocations.

            The media is a means of reporting for the public so that provocative news can be filtered so it doesn’t create a rowdy atmosphere which leads to polarization between supporters. The truth is that elections are democratic parties, not necessarily widening the gap in differences that have an impact on the breakdown of friendly relations just because of differences in choices.

)* The author is a contributor to Jeka Media Institute

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