Media Plays a Role in Strengthening Public Participation and Creating Peaceful Elections
Success in holding the 2024 simultaneous elections can be proven by strong community participation and the implementation of the elections without causing significant conflict. To support these two indicators, of course the role of the media or press is needed to report news that can be accounted for and without any element of partiality.
On the occasion of the Election Coverage Workshop in Tarakan City, North Kalimantan, Paulus Tri Agung Kristanto as Member of the Press Council said that journalists need sufficient competence and abilities.
Agung said that journalists have a difficult task to build awareness in society when the general election will be held when the public chooses a leader. So the media must have sufficient knowledge to position themselves correctly in society, so that people can make the best choices.
He also does not deny that not all journalists have sufficient knowledge and experience related to elections and political coverage. Because political coverage also includes technical knowledge, general knowledge, issue management and so on. The journalist profession is closely related to morality and ethics. Of course, if it harms the journalist profession, morality and ethics will certainly be questioned.
The Press Council
The press as one of the pillars of democracy of course has a strategic role in stemming and providing an outlet for the rise of hoaxes and disinformation leading up to and during the 2024 Simultaneous Elections which are disseminated mainly through social media.
The press as an institution that has high ethical standards and accuracy standards, as well as a culture of checking and rechecking can be the main choice to guard and direct the public towards rational and objective choices, not choices based on hatred or dislike of one group.
The press also plays a role in maintaining political stability, because like food, if the information provided is information that is full of nutrition, of course the recipient of the press product in the form of news and information will be able to respond to the news wisely. Moreover, Indonesia has a diversity of ethnicities and religions as well as political views, the press is also required to be able to be a forum that does not offend SARA in order to maintain political stability.
On a different occasion, Chairman of the Regional Management (Pengda) of IJTI Kaltara, Usman Coddang, said that the role of the press is significant in presenting enlightening information to the public. This is done through a positive journalism campaign. Positive journalism itself is an activity that carries the message of peaceful journalism to face the 2024 elections. Namely through quality content, in accordance with the journalistic code of ethics.
Usman believes that this needs to be done in order to brighten the public space from the onslaught of hoax information. The role of positive journalism will be to balance information, as well as provide education to the public. In this way, the public will receive valid information with content that prioritizes the educational side. In the election context, mainstream media has a role in presenting content that introduces the vision and mission of prospective election participants.
Delivering content with a peaceful narrative can only be done by competent journalists. In this case, journalists have passed and been declared competent through the Journalist Competency Test (UKJ) by the Press Council. This is because journalists have a responsibility, because there is no mandate that can be carried out without being accompanied by responsibility, especially since journalists also carry out an important mandate in the pillars of democracy .
According to George Fox Mott , the press is a public servant, a community connector, a community leader and a seller of knowledge. Meanwhile, according to Law number 40 of 1999 concerning the press, what is meant by the press is a social institution and mass communication vehicle that carries out journalistic activities including searching, obtaining, owning, storing, processing and conveying information in the form of writing, sound, images and data and graphs.
The press plays an important role in various aspects of society. The press has an influencing function which is generally found in articles, editorials or online media. In principle, elections are not just an event for election participants or voters. However, the performance is for everyone, including supervisors, the public and not least members of the press.
Previously, Acting Chairman of the Press Council, Muhammad Agung Dharmajaya, said that Article 2 of Law number 40 of 1999 concerning the press emphasized that press freedom is a form of popular sovereignty based on the principles of democracy, justice and the supremacy of law.
Every time before the election, the Press Council will issue a circular or appeal to the press community regarding the position of the media and the impartiality of journalists in the election.
So the press has an important role in efforts to create peaceful elections and support the KPU’s efforts to increase public participation in the 2024 elections.