Jakarta, goodwill and dedication at the basis of Catholic journalism

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An event organised by the Catholic Press Association highlights the value of the impact of the media on society. High government officials and members of the Episcopal Conference were present. Catholics "are Indonesian citizens, called to spread the truth and the good news." The fake news phenomenon and the risk related to hate speech.

By Royani Lim

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — To maintain unity and security in Indonesia “the contribution of the media is fundamental. Communications professionals must be animated by goodwill and dedication, against fake news and hate speech” said the head of the Indonesian Eradication Commission (KPK) Kiki Barhuli, addressing Catholic journalists. They were gathered for the occasion by the Catholic Press Association.

Indonesia, explained the official during the event, “is a strategic nation, the most populous Muslim nation in the world. We are strongly called to behave prudently when we use modern means of communication and to avoid spreading false news or information destined to generate hatred .”

The president of the Association, AM Putut Prabantoro, tells AsiaNews: “We are Indonesian citizens and journalists: we must maintain relationships with everyone, even with the high figures of the government, so that we can have the necessary confirmations for our work.” Rosarita Niken Widiastuti, Secretary General of the Ministry of Communications was also present: “There are more and more cases of fake news in the panorama of our information. Sometimes they are artfully created, for political reasons.”

Between October 2018 and December 2019, he added, “we have had more than 4,000 cases of fake news, spread for political purposes. The peak was recorded in April 2019, on the occasion of the presidential elections.”

The Executive Secretary of the Lay Commission of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, Fr. Paolo Siswantoko Pr, underlined the added value of being Catholic in journalism: “We are called to spread the truth and the good news.” – AsiaNews

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