Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chairperson of the Press Council, Ninik Rahayu, has said that her side has carried out a series of discussions with several media outlets in 34 Indonesian provinces to help realize peaceful general elections.

"What we did is disseminating information on how to cover elections to keep adhering to the journalist code of ethics," she informed while issuing a peaceful elections declaration with the editors-in-chief of several media outlets here on Saturday.

According to her, what causes disruption in the press field, among other things, is news that contains misinformation and disinformation but still continues to be reported.

Rahayu stressed that the media plays a central role in shaping the views of the people, who do not only depend on decisions from the executive, judiciary, and legislature.

Therefore, she said, complex interactions with the media can significantly influence people's way of thinking and their views.

"This momentum of the declaration must make the media become the main spearhead for creating peace," she added.

She invited all mediapersons in Indonesia to help maintain democracy so that people can participate and be ready to voice their ideas and express themselves.

She noted that currently, social media plays a key role in news distribution. Therefore, all parties must use it to support the delivery of information while upholding peace.

This includes opening space for public debate on various issues, such as legal processes and others, as part of the intellectual empowerment of society.

In this regard, she said that it is essential to maintain peace in all discussions, avoid intimidation, respect the principle of the presumption of innocence, and adhere to the journalist code of ethics.

In facing the political year, she expressed the hope that the media will not produce news that can polarize the community.

She further said that journalists can play a constructive role in building community awareness, encouraging healthy dialogues, and ensuring that political news advances common interests and democratic stability.

Therefore, the Press Council, together with 11 constituents, will lend full support to media professionals so they can work together to maintain peace in the public sphere, especially in the political year.

The General Elections are scheduled to be held on February 14, 2024. Around 204.8 million voters are expected to cast their ballot in the elections.

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Translator: Rivan Awal, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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