Information ministry reprimands two TV stations

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Communication and Informatics has issued stern warning to two public TV stations--Metro TV and TV One--for imbalance over coverage of elections, Minister Tifatul Sembiring said here on Monday.

Tifatul said the government could revoke the broadcasting license of the two TV stations if they conduct similar actions in the future. The minister explained that he had called the representatives of Metro TV and TV One earlier and both had admitted that they had taken sides when covering the election process this year.

"Anyone who has watched the two TV stations can observe that they have overrated in their coverage," said the minister.

According to Tifatul, the decision to give a stern warning to the TV stations was a follow up of the recommendation made by Indonesias Broadcasting Commission (KPI) earlier. KPI on its recommendation letter to the ministry said the government should revoke the broadcasting license of Metro TV and TV One.

KPI stated that a violation of Regulation No. 32/2002 of broadcasting has been committed, especially on article 4, which stated that "the TV broadcast content must preserve neutrality and cannot prioritize the interests of particular individual or group."

The KPIs chairman of content affairs, Rahmat Arifin, earlier stated that the community will suffer if the television stations were not independent and balanced.

He said that two private television stations had been kept under KPI scrutiny because of imbalance in their election reports so far.

In reply to whether other TV stations such as the MNC Group stations and Trans TV stations had any similar issues, he said that they too have issues, but their reports have not been as glaring as the two.

He said the imbalance could be measured from the duration, frequency, and tone of their election reporting.

"TV One always has been reporting positively about Prabowo, while Metro TV has been reporting more about the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla (JK) pair," he said.

Indonesia had held its presidential election on July 9, with two candidates contesting--Jakarta Governor Jokowi with former vice president JK as his running mate against former army figure Prabowo Subianto with former economic minister Hatta Rajasa as his running mate.

Reported by Imam Budilaksono
Translated and Edited by Amie Fenia Arimbi/f001
EDITED BY INE
(T.A051/A/KR-BSR/F001)

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