Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Communication and Information has expressed gratitude to the Indonesian press for its continued support for government policies and for voicing constructive criticism through news reporting.

"The government appreciates the good work of the Indonesian press to support government policies or criticize (the government) through constructive criticism, we thank you," the ministry's director general of information and public communication, Usman Kansong, told ANTARA on Wednesday.

The current press-government synergy is working well, he noted and added that the government has given the press freedom to perform its work.

"By maintaining press freedom, our journalism quality will increase, and our democracy will be more dignified and advanced. As a pillar of democracy, the press has a great role to bolster our democracy," Kansong said.

Press freedom must be maintained in a responsible manner to ensure that quality journalism remains the norm, he stressed.

The press is currently being challenged by digital disruption, which has caused a glut of information and a surge in hoaxes, he added.

The director general said that the current trend has also seen some media agencies neglecting their news reporting quality for the sake of speed and visitor clicks as more clicks mean more revenue for the media, particularly online media.

Kansong suggested two strategies to address issues arising from digital disruption: the first is to maintain press independence and journalism quality.

"Press must be self-sufficient and not depend on digital platforms and social media. The press must also improve its journalism quality," he expounded.

The second strategy is regulation, he said, adding that the government is preparing a presidential regulation on media sustainability, which will regulate the mechanisms of cooperation and the relationship between the media and global platforms to realize an equitable press ecosystem.

"The Presidential Regulation will require digital platforms to cooperate with media agencies in Indonesia to publish news made by our media. Hence, media agencies will get extra income and revenue," Kansong explained.

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Translator: Fathur Rochman, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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