Welcome Remarks by Chairman Press Council of Indonesia, Deliver at the Opening of the fifth Bali Media Forum

Welcome Remarks by Chairman Press Council of Indonesia, Deliver at the Opening of the fifth Bali Media Forum
07 November 2013 | Administrator

Welcome Remarks by Chairman Press Council of Indonesia
Deliver at the Opening of the fifth Bali Media Forum,
in conjunction with the Bali Democracy Forum.

Bali, 6 November 2013

Good morning, welcome to Bali Island, Indonesia.

Excellency Mr. Wardana, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of RI, thank you for your willingness to give an opening address to this forum.

Excellency Ambassador of Norway, thank you for your full support to this forum.

Thank you to the Director of Development of Thomson Foundation, Bettina Peters, who always work very hard for the successful of this forum and, last but not least, Bambang and Chelsea.

All participants, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to all of you to the fifth anniversary Bali Media Forum. Especially for our foreign guests, I hope this forum not only an opportunity to meet among the media communities, but also you have time to enjoy Bali as one of Indonesia paradise islands.

From the list there are 24 countries press communities coming to this forum, a significant increase compared with press delegate’s from17 countries in 2013.

There are some among you, that joining us for the first time. Welcome to delegate from New Zealand, Lebanon, The United States, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, South Korea, and Singapore. It seems to me this forum becoming more and more popular among the press communities in many countries.

The subjects for discussion also become more and more colorful and varied. Our theme for this year 5th anniversary is “Ethics, Journalism and Democracy: Taking the hate out of Media and Politics”. Bettina will share to us the background and the details of this theme.

One of the issues is about intolerance and discrimination to religious or ethnic minorities and also the challenge of hate speech.

On one side, we applaud the development of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. But on the other side we deplore the still existing intolerances, discriminations, and hate speeches.

Usually when we talk about intolerance or discrimination or a hate speech problem, they are the problem between majorities and minorities. But that is not always the case. We find also the intolerance or discrimination between two or more minorities. For example in Indonesia, the religious intolerance does not come from the majority to minority, but from some very small radical groups to other religious group minority.

The challenge we face is: what role can the press communities do to prevent and solve such problems? To promote a better life condition that is peaceful, tolerance to each other, free, in harmony and just?

Now we in Indonesia are quite busy preparing our general election next year 2014. There are two of them: general election for the House of Representatives, Regional representative body and local representative in April, and the Presidential Election in July.

One of our main concerns is the independency of media in this important democratic process. There are some media owned by the political party leaders. Some of us worry about the independency of such media.
Have a good discussion. Thank you.

Press Council of Indonesia

Bagir Manan