Andrea Van Barthold
Ranggani Puspandya, a 22-year-old news presenter at Trans TV, knows that having a pretty face isn’t enough to make it as one of the city’s leading anchorwomen. That’s why she’s quickly cultivated a well-rounded knowledge of Indonesia’s current political landscape in an effort to prove to viewers that her passion for real news goes beyond reading off a teleprompter. Today, Ranggani tells us why she’d love to present the news alongside Anderson Cooper, and explains what Jakarta looks like through the eyes of an anchor and why she thinks moving the capital isn’t such a bad idea.
Do you present every day?
No, it depends on the director and producers. I’m working in shifts now with the other presenters. Usually I present around four times a week.
So when can we see you?
I’m presenting “Reportase” on Trans TV. “Reportase” itself is shown four times each day [morning, afternoon, evening and night].
Like I said, I’m working shifts with the others, so I can’t exactly predict what time I’ll be on TV. Maybe you just have to stay tuned [smiles].
Describe yourself in 10 words!
Tall, skinny, short-haired, creative, observant, tomboy, adventurous, stubborn, deep voice and idealistic.
What does Jakarta look like through the eyes of a news presenter?
Jakarta is a mess that’s stretched out across the whole city. Every single day is an upgrade to another level of stress.
I just wish that Jakarta had a lot less traffic and more parks worth visiting rather than humongous malls. It’s a pity that Jakarta has adopted the wrong kind of urban planning.
How do you see the political situation Indonesia is in?
Everything is covered up with another thing. It’s like playing hide and seek. Today’s politicians are trying to divert attention away from the actual problems.
I think the government should be held responsible for any unclear steps or decisions it made that only benefited a few people.
Some clear examples are the unresolved cases of human rights violations committed here in Indonesia.
Would you ever think about running for office?
That’s a really hard question. I would definitely choose a position that would allow me to make myself heard. I would consider joining the People’s Consultative Assembly [MPR].
What do you think about moving Indonesia’s capital?
From what I heard, the plans are to move the capital to Palangkaraya [Central Kalimantan].
I like the idea, because right now Jakarta is a pretty hectic place to live. Another reason the move would be good is because Jakarta is located on the edge of Indonesia, while Palangkaraya is in the middle.
Moving the capital would help to distribute everything more evenly throughout the country. The move would be extremely costly, but it would be worth it.
Is it better to present the news solo or with a partner?
Although it’s more challenging, I prefer presenting with a partner because it looks livelier.
If you got a chance to pick someone to become your partner, who would it be?
Anderson Cooper! He’s got a refreshing way of presenting information, like the anti-anchor.
He’s funny, he’s not afraid of being himself and he’s delivering the news in such a way that it makes you think that it’s not news you’re watching. He’s also not afraid to point out his perspective.
Does presenting the news live get your adrenaline pumping?
Yes, the challenge of presenting live and making sure to make as few mistakes as possible is thrilling indeed.
Have you ever had a slip-up on live TV?
No, but one of the first things I learned about reporting was that it’s important to take the time to repeat someone’s name a couple of times so that you will get it right the first time when the cameras are rolling.
How long have you been a news presenter?
It’s a secret. [Smiles] Let’s just say it wasn’t that long ago.
If you had to answer pop trivia questions, how would you score?
Eight out of 10.
What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?
What can I create today…
People say that presenters are different off-camera. Would you say you’re sociable off-camera?
I’m pretty sociable, but I like to be around my friends. And sometimes I need a little time to myself, but meeting new and interesting people always fascinates me.
What inspired you to become a news presenter?
When I was a little kid, I always admired news presenters because they could look good on TV and have a sharp mind at the same time. And that’s the kind of woman I’ve always wanted to be.
Who are your role models?
In general, I would say that I don’t really look up to anyone in particular. But I do admire people who are prominent in their field of work. In news presenting, my role models are Rosiana Silalahi and Desi Anwar.
Are you fasting?
Yes. Of course.
Does fasting affect your productivity or your ability to stay focused?
Not at all. Fasting might have decreased my productivity when I was a kid or a teenager, but it doesn’t really affect me anymore.