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Indonesian president calls on media to be fair, balanced in coverage

02-10-2012 13:35 BJT

JAKARTA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- In intensifying media reporting of corruption cases involving members of his Democratic Party, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on the media to maintain fair and balanced coverage, local media reported on Friday. "What the press do will have a significant impact on public opinion and I am happy that media outlets realize that it is important to keep maintaining their integrity and improving their competence,"Yudhoyono said in commemoration of the National Press Day in Jambi province on Thursday.

Yudhoyono said some countries had paid a terrible price for exaggerated media reports.

However, the president added that despite the potential negative impact media reporting could have, respecting for press freedoms were of paramount importance.

"It will be far better if we have press freedom in this country, rather than the limited press of totalitarian or authoritarian states,"he said.

The president said that the media could have a positive impact on a country only if it is honest, objective and balanced.

Meanwhile, Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembi-ring has called on the media to serve the public's interests rather than confuse people. "The press should be able to tell the public about growth and change and not disseminate discourses that cause confusion in society," he was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

The results of a recent annual global study carried out by IndoPacific Edelman showed that Indonesian media was the country' s most trusted institution among informed citizens for the fourth consecutive year. "Eighty percent of Indonesian respondents, which ranks highest among the 25 countries polled for the survey and significantly higher than its global and Asia Pacific peers, said they trust media to do what is right," Edelman said in a statement.

More than 30,000 respondents in 25 countries, including nine Asia-Pacific countries, were surveyed by the public relations firm.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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