Jakarta (ANTARA) - President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (Jokowi) requested that the mainstream media function as a clearing house of information.

"Mainstream media people, the mainstream media is really needed to become an 'information clearing house'. It is very important to be a clearing house of information," Jokowi stated at the highlight of the 2023 National Press Day (HPN) in Medan, North Sumatra, Thursday.

This year marks the 28th anniversary of HPN since first being held on February 9, 1985. The 2023 HPN commemoration is themed "Free Press, Dignified Democracy."

"Presenting verified information and carrying out the role as a communicator of hope which gives hope to all of us," Jokowi affirmed.

The president stated that the role of the mainstream media has now become increasingly important in amplifying the truth and uncovering facts.

"(This is) especially (crucial) in the midst of post-truth and post-fact (situations). Mainstream media is expected to be able to maintain and defend its mission to seek the truth and build optimism," Jokowi noted.

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Hence, Jokowi called on all parties -- the central and regional government agencies, BUMN, private companies, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) -- to support the existence of mainstream media.

"Indeed, in order to exist in a sustainable manner, the mainstream media must innovate, must be adaptive to technology, and take strategic steps. However, the mass media must not be left alone. The government and all stakeholders must provide support," he stressed.

Entering the political year ahead of the 2024 General Elections, Jokowi advised the mass media to stick to idealism, be objective, and to not slip into polarization.

"The media must encourage the implementation of the 2024 election to run in an honest and fair way and strengthen Indonesia's unity. The mass media must remain the fourth pillar of democracy and the main reference for the public in obtaining information," President Jokowi emphasized.

Other attendees at the event comprised Minister of Communication and Informatics Johnny G. Plate, Minister of State Secretariat Pratikno, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Erick Thohir, Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Teten Masduki, Minister of Public Works and Housing Basuji Hadimuljono, Governor of North Sumatra Edy Rahmayadi, Mayor of Medan Bobby Nasution, company leaders, chief editor, representatives of the Press Council and press associations, press figures, and other related officials.

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Translator: Desca Lidya, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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