Simalungun, North Sumatra, Thu (ANTARA) - The National Broadcasting Commission (KPI) expects media outlets, such as broadcasting institutions and conventional media, to function as verifiers of all information and news regarding the 2024 general election.

"Verification has become very crucial to be conducted by the mass media in the midst of rampant hoaxes on social media," KPI Commissioner, Mimah Susanti, stated in Simalungun, North Sumatra, on Thursday.

In North Sumatra, the commission hosts a press camp on March 15-17, 2023, which brought up the theme of "Free, Dignified Press for Democratization of Broadcasting Prior to 2024 General Election."

According to Susanti, as a reliable and trustworthy source of information, the media is supposed to present news in an independent, neutral, accurate, and balanced manner. Those principles are important in delivering factual news for the audience prior to the grand political event, she emphasized.

The accuracy of news brought by broadcasting institutions and radio must be ensured through multiple checking processes, she emphasized.

"Mass media must be the verifiers of information that spread in social media. Hence, if someone wants to seek factual news or information, they get it from TV and radio. It is because the ones not giving hoaxes are TVs and radios. Hence, TV and radio must be able to rebuild that image. Check and recheck must be done," Susanti remarked.

Susanti referred to data from We Are Social, a UK-based media company, as per January 2023 that showed 212.9 million Indonesians, or 77 percent of the population, use the internet.

It shows that social media has currently become one of the most commonly used source of information, she pointed out.

Susanti stated that at times of media convergence, broadcasting institutions and conventional media must be able to adapt to the changes in technology and keep up and do better than the social media platforms.

However, they need to maintain accuracy and balance in their information, she emphasized.

"Digital penetration is very impactful for the public, and hence, the shift in (internet) users. TV viewers also decreased, from what initially was 93 percent, now down to 81 percent. On the other hand, the number of internet users increases, from 55.1 percent to 76.7 percent," she pointed out.

Currently, people aged 50 and above are the ones watching TV the most, and a lot of millennials and members of the gen Z are on the internet instead, she pointed out.

KPI Commissioner Evri Rizqi Monarshi opined that balance must be prioritized by broadcasting agencies in showing content related to the 2024 general election.

Her administration declined the narrative of current competition between the mass media, particularly electronic media, with social media.

"However, it may be, (people) will refer to mainstream media. So, Indonesians are still trying to decide based on (data) from mainstream media. Of course, journalists must be able to bring balanced, objective news, so that it will be possible to monitor and control general election (proceedings) and improve transparency and accountability," she concluded.

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Translator: Juraidi, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
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