Jakarta. More than 100 media representatives gathered on Tuesday (18/04) to announce the establishment of the Indonesian Cyber Media Association, or AMSI, whose primary mission is to verify tens of thousands of online news outlets, fight hoax, promote accurate journalism and make sure that journalists adhere to the code of professional ethics.
Indonesia's Press Council chairman Yoseph Adi Prasetyo said the council, which harbors press associations and media experts, fully supports AMSI, and hopes the association will play an important role in fighting fake news.
He said that among 47,000 mass media in the country, 43,300 are online media outlets.
"Imagine how important is the role of online media. We know that hoax news have been on the rise over the past six months, but after the authorities, professionals and journalists joined hands to fight them, the quantity has shrank," Yosep said in a keynote speech during a simple ceremony at the Press Council building in Central Jakarta, which also saw in attendance Communications Minister Rudiantara.
Although many stakeholders have stood against fake news, hoaxes have not ceased to exist and AMSI is going to be there to help the Press Council in verifying online media and promoting ethical journalism.
The Press Council has already formulated the online media news coverage guidelines in accordance with the Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press and the Journalistic Code of Ethics.
During Tuesday's ceremony, Twitter Indonesia public policy head Agung Yudha said that the most effective way to fight hoax is by juxtaposing it with accurate content produced by journalists who work for good online media.
"While in the past our enemy was spam, now apart from spam there are hoaxes. Rather than blocking [those who spread them], we believe that bombarding the internet with positive content can suppress the proliferation of fake news," he said.
Twitter Asia Pacific and Twitter Indonesia had pledged to help the Indonesian government in improving digital literacy, and are introducing tougher measures to deal with abusive content on their social media platform.
The newly established association may join the Press Council in future.
"It will definitely be accepted, all it [AMSI] needs to do is to have a board member and regional branches in 15 regions, and it must have at least 200 online media outlets as members. It is not easy, but I am sure [AMSI] can do it," the council's chairman said.
Currently, the council has seven media associations under its auspices, including the Union of Print Media Companies (SPS), the Indonesian Television Broadcasting Association (ATVSI), the Indonesian Local TV Association and the Indonesian National Private Radio Association (PRSSNI).
AMSI already comprises of 143 online media from various regions, including the Jakarta Globe and others under Berita Satu Media Holdings such as Beritasatu.com, which is one of the association's founding members.
The association's presidium is headed by Wenseslaus Manggut, the editor in chief of Merdeka.com. The remaining 24 board members derive from various Indonesian online media outlets.
Within the next three months, the board will hold a national meeting to appoint the association's executives, prepare its agenda and budget.
The AMSI secretariat is located at BeritaSatu Plaza on Jalan Gatot Subroto 35-36 in South Jakarta.
Registered online media outlets that satisfy the Press Council's regulations are invited to join AMSI.
Registration can be done via email: firstname.lastname@example.org