By Rahmad Nasution

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - An outstanding Australian journalist has urged the mainstream media in Indonesia to collaborate in clamping down on fake news by conducting collaborative fact-checking efforts to meet their audience and readers` rights to get true information.

Speaking at the Indonesian Press Council`s Forum here on Tuesday, Peter Fray told tens of local journalists that the collaborative endeavors were needed as the fake news was sharable and spreads 10 times faster than that of facts.

Fray, former editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and who is currently a professor of journalism-practice at the University of Technology Sydney, said that the fake news has now become a common challenge for many countries around the world, including Indonesia and Australia.

In combating it, Fray, who has became the guest speaker of the forum co-organized by the Indonesian Editor-In-Chiefs` Forum, Australian Embassy, and Press Council, underlined the importance of being transparent in the search for the true information through fact-checking efforts.

"Be objective, be accurate, be transparent, be in the public interest, be easy to use, and be diverse," he remarked.

Fray`s perspective was shared by former editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, Endy M. Bayuni, who moderated the seminar, saying that the mainstream media workers` collaborative efforts were needed to stop the spread of fake news by practicing quality journalism in the digital era.

Meanwhile, senior journalist of Tempo Magazine, Bambang Harymurti, noted that the fake news phenomenon was similar to drinking salt water, which makes people remain thirsty. At the end, they would quench their thirsty by drinking fresh water.

Therefore, it should not only be seen as a threat but also an opportunity for professional journalists in the country to keep practice quality journalism to enable them to produce credible news items for their audience and readers, he remarked.

The seminar, held at the Press Council headquarters in Central Jakarta with the Jakarta-based Australian Embassy`s support, was participated in by tens of journalists of print and electronic media, as well as lecturers of Dr. Soetomo School of Journalism, including Metro TV`s News Director Tommy Suryopratomo.

Reporter: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Bustanuddin
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