Press Freedom is People Freedom

By Ilham Q. Moehiddin

“When control comes out of him self, it’s more poisoned than without control. Control only benefits for it self”. (Mahatma Gandhi)

Indonesia social’s construction of three years ago was an interesting picture, how a freedom to be taken away. Indonesian people are used with structural intimidation that  caused social and political satiated. It’s hard to reject the people power on May 21, 1998, that clearly describing satiated.

Reconstructions of democracy that planned have forgotten to the most fundamental metter. Democracy that built for society turned to be a deadly weapon for many political parties to kills each other. The freedom losing its spirit for a while. Freedom for expressions has no chance to rise up while freedom for organization is used by politic expertise know the deal of communalization of Indonesian people.

The reality that there is no power or regime in the world that could shut freedom of speaking as part of human right. As part of human right freedom of speaking and, expressing idea (opinion), and organization are more important than any social constitution which have planned and rolled by government.

So that the development of knowledge and information, a knowledge market (freedom of expression) has created. People are forced to respect on any opinion and perspective of any others that is might be scenery or even confronting. Through freedom of speaking as the consecquence of knowledge market, there will comes opinion that agree or disagree. This is could not be resisted. But society learns to grow gathered with contradictions.

Long ago Indonesia once recognized freedom press that responsible, after totaliterian regime fallen, Indonesia’s press then recognizing democratic freedom press. In other world democratic press is responsible to the society, not to the government. Otherwise empowerments of press base needed for independent and democartic editorial.

In 1998, the president of Indonesia, KH Abdurrahman Wahid have liquidated Departement of Information, the reason was information matter is not handled and monopolized by government any more like it was, bitter reality that effecting shackle to freedom press. According to him, information matter is independent matter of public and press. Through that policy Wahid actually have started process of empowering civil society.

Support toward government’s policy is a bias of reform spirit that already unfolded the information from politic’ shackle. Information as public’s territory has organizing mechanism it self, or public institution that conducted by society which independent has to be rolled information.

Commonly,  press community is traumatic toward repressive attitude od the Departement of Information in old regime era. “Hidden cencor” and “Telephone culture” end up with three magazines dissolved; Tempo, Editor and Detik in July 21, 1994. And following by retirement of 13 journalists from its association (PWI) by the chief Tarman Azam. The retirement as well announced forbidden to all kind of media to recruit those 13 journalists. The media who employ them also will be dissolved by the government.

Maybe like this, Mahatma, the Indian National Congress politician and figure, get he opinion about government preasure (control) to the press, finally go out to something name a not freedom of press.[]

Published of World Bank Office Jakarta

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