Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chairperson of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo, has asked the Indonesian press to adhere to the code of ethics and journalism principles as well as maintain fairness in conducting its activities to improve professionalism.

"Press personnel must be able to uphold the code of ethics, principles of journalism, and preserve fairness in conducting press activities. Don't let the news that reaches everyone deviate from the principles of truth, or even divides instead," Soesatyo said in a statement, Thursday.

He made the statement following the 2023 National Press Day commemoration summit, which was themed “Free Press, Dignified Democracy,” in Medan, North Sumatra, on Thursday.

He pointed out that in the creation of a democratic state, the press serves as one of the main pillars that support democracy.

The press is more than just a provider of information: it has other functions, such as to control, to critique and to allow for public participation, he said.

"In doing its role and function as a pillar of democracy, obviously, the press cannot work alone, but must work hand in hand and complement the other three pillars of democracy. Those being the executive, judicial, and legislative institutions," Soesatyo elaborated.

Should one of these pillars fail to work as intended, democracy in Indonesia would be lacking, he pointed out.

He referred to Article 28F of the 1945 Constitution, which states that everyone has the right to communicate; obtain information to improve themselves and their social environment; to explore, obtain, own, store, process, and convey information using every available channel.

The constitutional mandate serves as a middle ground between the interests of the public and mass media, those being the right to obtain, process, and spread information, he added.

"As a country that upholds the principle of people's sovereignty, meeting people's rights to obtain information, and freedom of the press to spread information, it must be directly proportional to the manifestation of the principle of people's sovereignty. This is one of the essences of upholding democratic values," he said.

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Translator: Tri Meilani A, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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