President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono criticized the media on Thursday for
its unbalanced news coverage, warning that it could drive foreign
“There are people who say that no news is good
news,” Yudhoyono said at the State Palace in Central Jakarta. “I
disagree. Bad news is bad news and good news is good news.”
The country’s investment potential, he said, had been damaged by what he called bad journalism practices.
I visit some neighboring countries, especially Asean countries, our
diplomats often complain that our mass media and television broadcasts
are available in those countries,” the president said. He said the
negative coverage on those broadcasts colors Indonesia’s image abroad.
suggest that instead of just reporting the bad news about our nation,
such as political infighting, we should also write good things so our
neighbors can see Indonesia as a whole.”
Yudhoyono said that
foreign investment, tourism and bilateral cooperation were directly
affected by fears raised by the bad news people heard about Indonesia.
investors might need to see the Indonesian president for themselves to
be sure that Indonesia has been managed well, contrary to the biased
view that comes across abroad.”
He said the media should cover
stories of ineffectiveness or wrongdoing by the government or the
public, especially to demonstrate the consequences of such
transgressions both domestically and abroad.
there is good news, it should not be hidden,” he said. “Don’t be shy to
cover good news, because it will have a good impact on people and
motivate them to follow the example.”
Yudhoyono was speaking
during the ceremony to hand out the 2009 Citra Bhakti Abdi Negara
awards — which recognize regional leaders who have shown strong
commitment in implementing policy that helps the public — to dozens of
district and municipal heads.
Yudhoyono continued to back-hand
the press, saying that despite the fact the public could not see the
good work of government, the regional heads need not worry.
“Though the people failed to notice, God knows,” he said.
recently has been under media spotlight after he loudly and publicly
denounced protesters who brought a water buffalo to the antigovernment
street rallies that marked his 100th day in office.
accused demonstrators of calling him “stupid and slow” and called the
attack “not ethical or moral.” Some media analysts have criticized him
for exacerbating the situation by overreacting.
“The press should cover all things in balance,” Yudhoyono said. “We should tell the truth.”