Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo in his remarks at the opening of the XXIV Congress of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) said the media had an important role in building democracy and strengthening community participation.

When opening the event at The Sunan Hotel, Surakarta, on Friday night (28/9), the President considered that the criticism voiced by the media in democracy was something natural.

According to the President, criticism is beneficial for the government in order to improve and fix existing deficiencies.

"But I need to emphasize that criticism is different from slander, criticism is different from provocation. Criticism is also not looking for mistakes. Criticism is also different from disguising," he said.

In addition, the President also supports press freedom is a priority that needs to be maintained and become a spirit of reform.

The Head of State explained that the media must be protected in conveying information to the public, because it is the state`s obligation to protect all people from threats of violence, including journalists.

"Therefore, there should be nothing to prevent the media from carrying out their journalism work. No one should commit violence to journalists who are carrying out their profession," said Jokowi in a statement from the Deputy Protocol, Press and Media Presidential Secretariat Bey Machmudin.

The President also hopes media owners to pay close attention to the welfare of journalists.

This is important because according to the President any profession when increasing its professionalism, it should increase its well-being.

The President invited journalists to jointly build democracy in Indonesia to be more qualified, healthier and stronger. Besides that, it also invites together to keep the people from being divided only because of different political choices.

"Remember that our national choice is only one, namely the Unitary Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). Remember that unity is a national asset that we must guard, care for, and maintain," said Jokowi.

A number of figures accompanying the President included Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, and General Chairperson of the Central PWI Margiono.

Reporting by Bayu Prasetyo
Editing by Eliswan Azly

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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