Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called on the press community to not only demand press freedom but also to work accountably and professionally in accordance with the press ethics code.

The president's statement was made during the meeting with the Indonesian Press Council executives at the Presidential Palace here on Monday, according to Press Council Chairperson Ninik Rahayu.

"This needs a highlight for our colleagues in media that Mr President asked you not to speak only about press freedom but also an accountable press. I believe our colleagues understand what constitutes an accountable press," Rahayu stated.

An accountable press means ethics code and professional guides are observed by journalists in their work, she emphasized while adding that journalists must also improve competency to enhance their capacity in news reporting.

Rahayu said that while the public often demands a free press, the press must be responsible to ensure journalists are working professionally.

"What is the substance of the responsibility? Yes, it is the journalism ethics code. The principles of perspective to diversity in news reporting and national interest, for instance, are non-negotiable. Moreover, the press must also educate the public, become (the medium of) social control, and inform the public," she expounded.

Meanwhile, Press Council Commissioner Tri Agung Kristanto said that an accountable press will also strive to realize a conducive situation in the run-up to the 2024 General Elections.

"We understand that in political years, it is certain that the media would be used (for political interests). We must not speak merely in favor of press freedom, we also need to ensure that the press will realize conducive and better public conditions, which is part of the responsibility of the press," Kristianto stated.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu AJ, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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