Semarang, C Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s Antara news agency must remain neutral with regard to the simultaneous legislative and presidential elections to be organized on April 17, 2019, a university lecturer stated.

The national news agency must stand above any group or remain neutral during the election campaign process, Suryanto, communication and political science lecturer of the Semarang Communication Science Higher School, stated here, Thursday.

It is important for Antara to maintain neutrality, as several media entities have chosen to be partisan media for various interests.

"Antara`s neutrality is absolutely needed in order to protect its dignity and integrity as the national news agency," he remarked while commenting on the role and function of Antara that celebrated its 81st anniversary on December 13, 2018.

Antara was established on December 13, 1937, or eight years before Indonesia`s Independence on August 17, 1945.

The news agency must uphold its idealism by presenting objective, verified, and accountable information, the lecturer remarked.

Moreover, the press has begun to be eroded by social media, which has become massive, he added.

Antara should help counter information containing hoax, hatred, and slander being spread in the public, he added.

The only national news agency of Indonesia must also become a spearhead for the dissemination of credible, transparent, and accountable information.

He expressed hope that Antara would become the most trusted and useful source of news for the Indonesian people and a reliable reference for foreign media.

Reporting by Kliwon, fardah

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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