Alliance of Independent Journalists

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The Alliance of Independent Journalists Indonesia (AJI)

AJI are members of International Federations Journalist (IFJ) and Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA).

Background

"Under Suharto, radio stations were required to carry the news broadcasts from the state. They were banned from doing independent reporting. The association of radio station owners was headed by Suharto's daughter, and licenses were given out to party faithfuls. Within two years after the collapse of the Suharto government in 1998, the number of independent radio stations grew by more than 30 percent, from about 750 to more than 1000 stations. Many broadcast journalists and station managers had to learn on the job. In-depth radio journalism programs or investigative reports on radio were still scarcely to be found in Indonesia. To bolster the overall quality of news and information programming, Internews (the international organization sponsored by the United States to assist fledgling broadcasters) produced three weekly radio programs and distributed them through a network of partner stations. As of June, 2000, RRI has been changed in status by presidential decree from a government-owned radio to a public broadcasting corporation (BUNM)." [1]

"In 1995 AJI’s founding chairman, Ahmad Taufik, was arrested along with Eko Maryadi, editor of Suara Independen. Both were imprisoned for over two years on the charge of insulting Suharto in print. Others who tempted authorities by putting out nonlicensed journals faced the same fate. Many AJI members were fired from their jobs as employers were pressured to retaliate against the unapproved organization." [2]

"Goenawan Mohamad is the founder and editor of Tempo magazine. The Indonesian newsmagazine was banned by the Suharto government in 1994 after publishing details of the government's purchase of aging East German destroyers, a confidential subject of dispute among Suharto's cabinet members. In 1995, Mohamad founded the Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information (ISAI), which produced alternative media intended to circumvent censorship. He later formed the Alliance of Independent Journalists, the only independent journalism organization in Indonesia. Following Suharto's resignation in May 1998, Mohamad led a group of reporters in restarting Tempo online and in print. He was a 1990 Nieman fellow at Harvard University and in 1997 received the Nieman fellows' Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. In 1998, he was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists. He is currently a visiting history professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Mohomad is a member of the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists." [3]

On October 13, 2006 AJI "published the first major series of investigative stories examining corruption, cover-ups and allocations of public and international resources in post-tsunami Aceh. The book, called, REPORTAGE: The Face of Corruption in Aceh (REPORTASE: Wajah Korupsi Di Aceh), marks the most detailed effort so far by print journalists to examine and report on the allocation of resources in what has been the biggest humanitarian recovery effort in Indonesia’s history.

"The book was published through AJI’s Print Investigative Journalism Training and Fellowship Program. Part of an Internews and USAID-funded media program, “Building on the Foundations,” the two-year project supports the professional development of media in Aceh, North Sumatra, and throughout Java." [4]

Contact

Web: http://www.ajiindonesia.org/index.php?fa=home.main&lang=en

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch

References