What's 'The Point'?
It's a new daily newspaper which has been set up to rival the Jakarta Post by, according to my sources, the Bakrie clan of Sidoarjo noteriety and Bambang Trihatmodjo
, second son of 'he who had to be obeyed when he was the dictator here'.
There is, of course, nothing new in politically connected folk creating media outlets for themselves. And it is usual for we folk to read those newspapers which seem to reflect our respective prejudices, which is why Jakartass reads The Guardian
The editor of the Manchester Guardian for 57 years, CP Scott
wrote: "Character is a subtle affair, and has many shades to it ... fundamentally it implies honesty, cleanness [integrity], courage, fairness, a sense of duty to the reader and the community.
I detect an adherence to those humanitarian ideals in the Jakarta Post
which has long argued for transparency, the prosecution of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and for the resolution of outstanding human rights cases such as that of Munir
. There is a steadfastness to the Post's editorial line that I like, a pluralist outlook and a sense of community. They are also unafraid to question why Suharto and his clan have escaped relatively unscathed from criminal presecution for their abuses of power.
Yesterday the Post wrote the following: The reclamation of Jakarta's northern coast may be delayed because city-ownedJakarta bay operator BP Pantura has yet to secure environmental impact analysis documents for the project.
As the Post has been consistent in following that particular developer's wet dream, they obviously know the history of the project. In January 1998, just five months before the Cendana clan rushed to hide behind their offshore investments, George J. Aditjondro wrote
, "The youngest sibling, Mamiek, has recently emerged in the business world after a company of hers obtained a deal to give a face lift to the northern shore of Jakarta Bay. The bidding was not competitive and Mamiek's company did not do an environmental impact study, as required by Indonesian law
So far, The Point does not seem to have ventured such pointed statements.
It has this to say about the plan I commented on
on Tuesday to anchor a floating Russian nuclear power station off the coast of Gorontalo in Sulawesi:Many doubt though, considering that the government has been unable to handle, with dispatch, the gushing hot mud from the gas well in East Java, a relatively
" mishap that has badly affected the local people, the effectiveness of the government in handling a nuclear accident.
If one ignores the somewhat convoluted syntax and that there is no mention of the Bakrie-owned Lapindo's culpability in the Sidoarjo mess, then they are right to question the potential handling of a nuclear accident. Maybe they will prove worthy competitors to the Post.
The Point has only been on the newsstands for three weeks and has yet to build up a constituency so I hope they won't mind a couple of suggestions.
Firstly, the design is a mish-mash, a hodge-podge of fonts both serif
and sans serif.
I prefer the latter; the Post uses the former, but at least it is consistent.
Also, the Jakarta-based Point does not yet appear to have an online edition. All I can find are the following:Point Newspaper
(in Gambia) - headlines, editorials and news categorized by subject. Includes a youth forum and travel information and classified ads.
- the only newspaper serving the South Bay's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered communities.
So, what's the point in The (Jakarta) Point? Change the name before it's too late!
Whilst I'm on the topic of news and its dissemination, The Point, The Post and other media could do well to visit this blogosphere more often. For example, Patung at Indonesian Matters
has brought attention to the proposal of Gerakan Kemerdekaan Minahasa
(Minahasa Freedom Movement) to secede from the unitary state of Indonesia. The Minahasa region
, with its distinctive culture, is in North Sulawesi and abuts the Gorontalo Regency (which thinks it's a province).
The notion of a separatist movement so close to a nuclear power station is not a comforting one, is it?The Opinionated Diner
is another opinionated blogger, a New Zealander based in Bali, who travels hither and dither through these parts. In the absence of meatier stuff here I think you should drop in to his Bunch of Unrelated Thoughts about Music, Politics, Food and anything else that occurs.... it was with some surprise when the lady in the bright red suit asked me to put away my iPod for landing. "Apa?" I asked, and she said I needed to put it away to land. Nonsense says I, I've never done so in the past and don't see what difference it makes. It's Air Asia policy said she. It wasn't when I flew with you before I said. It is now she said. "Kenapa?" said I ... cause, she said ... wait for it ... if you have your iPod on you might not notice if the plane crashes.
What could I say ... how can you dispute logic like that?
In my copy of The Point there is one, just one, major advertiser - Batavia Air
Unlike Air Asia, its slogan is Trust Us To Fly