My Critiques over Journalism in Social Media

Images from: ucpublicaffairs

I do not have a degree in journalism.

But I know there is something wrong with news media in Indonesia.

I believe, it takes heart to understand the etiquette on sharing information.

Not a brain.

Since the growth of technologies, people share everything online, including news. I used to be taught that news should be neutral, credible, educative and occasionally entertaining. In which, I deeply agree with the principal. Yet, our media does not fully reach the standard. It seems that the journalists (or perhaps any other party that is responsible for the publication) put more effort on the entertainment aspect. Eerily, readers in Indonesia could be easily entertained with something controversial. That forced the news media to attach uncensored gory images. It could gain more views from the readers, which is automatically improved their fame and money. Not the people’s sanity.

I unintentionally witnessed an uncensored picture of man hanging himself. Posted on Instagram account of tmcpoldametro which is the official police department. It is followed by 359.000 of people, excluding persons who do not have Instagram account like me, this image has been viewed by a lot of people. WhatsApp Image 2018-08-24 at 11.48.25

I was expecting condolence messages from the viewer. My expectation is far from the reality. Many people make joking comment such as questioning the quality of camera or asking how the man reached the pole.

My reaction was mixed up. I was angry, sad, disappointed. I imagined how the family react to the photo. It must be even more saddening, after realizing nobody share  any empathy to the family and the deceased.

I am not convinced that our society is mature enough to consume disturbing images. At this point, tmcpoldametro, our police department who is supposed to be the public figure, should be responsible for absentmindedly broadcasting the news. Instagram is primarily intended for artistic purpose (that is why they have filter for beautifying the pictures), not for sharing information which is already the greatest mistake that tmcpolametro did at the first place. Let’s assume the administrator of the instagram account does not have journalism knowledge, that he or she does not know the publishing etiquette.

My another concern about journalism laid on the recent post by Kompas. Kompas has a good reputation as the most credible, neutral and informative national newspaper. Unfortunately, as the follower of its facebook account, I am pointing out that the post through facebook does not have equal quality.  My biggest concern increased on the latest post: “Ogling at breast can increase Man’s age”

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-24 at 12.17.46

Seriously? this news invites more sexual harassment to girls. How come the most credible news like Kompas can share a false news in social media? Kompas already did two mistakes here. They initiate a sexual harassment, while the same time they are publishing a hoax, which is already against the law.

Undang Undang Nomor 11 Tahun 2008
tentang Informasi dan Transaksi Elektronik 

Pasal 28

(1) Setiap Orang dengan sengaja dan tanpa hak menyebarkan berita bohong dan menyesatkan yang mengakibatkan kerugian konsumen dalam Transaksi Elektronik.

(2) Setiap Orang dengan sengaja dan tanpa hak menyebarkan informasi yang ditujukan untuk menimbulkan rasa kebencian atau permusuhan individu dan/atau kelompok masyarakat tertentu berdasarkan atas suku, agama, ras, dan antargolongan (SARA).

Undang Undang Nomor 1 Tahun 1946
tentang Peraturan Hukum Pidana

Pasal 14

(1) Barangsiapa, dengan menyiarkan berita atau pemberitahuan bohong, dengan sengaja menerbitkan keonaran dikalangan rakyat, dihukum dengan hukuman penjara setinggi-tingginya sepuluh tahun.

(2) Barangsiapa menyiarkan suatu berita atau mengeluarkan pemberitahuan yang dapat menerbitkan keonaran dikalangan rakyat, sedangkan la patut dapat menyangka bahwa berita atau pemberitahuan itu adalah bohong, dihukum dengan penjara setinggi-tingginya tiga tahun.

Pasal 15

Barangsiapa menyiarkan kabar yang tidak pasti atau kabar yang berkelebihan atau yang tidak lengkap, sedangkan ia mengerti setidak-tidaknya patut dapat menduga bahwa kabar demikian akan atau sudah dapat menerbitkan keonaran dikalangan rakyat, dihukum dengan hukuman penjara setinggi, tingginya dua tahun.


I have already reached the stage where I am having trust issue to any news.

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