BY GEORGINA KEKEA
In Jakarta, Indonesia
WITH the rise of citizen journalism, media companies are finding it more difficult to maintain the credibility of news and even trying to keep the balance against the rise of false news.
In Indonesia, Transmedia that owns Detik.com an online news media in Jakarta says it has not been an easy task trying to maintain the balance and uphold the ethics of journalism especially with live news.
Speaking to 10 journalists who are part of an annual Journalist programme in Indonesia, Ahmad Ridwan, Director news of Detik.com says it has not been easy trying to be the fastest and accurate media in Indonesia.
Thus with the understanding that journalists cannot be everywhere at one time, they have embraced a system where citizens play a role in sending in pictures and stories for Detik.com.
Mr Ridwan says citizens are everywhere thus when something happens, they can upload spontaneously through a website platform where their online journalists will get the information and follow through to verify or follow-up with the right people to get answers.
Ridwan says these citizen journalists do this voluntarily but the company has an incentive whereby any citizen with credible stories are given points whereby they can receive gifts or packages for their input through a point reward system.
He said this is one way where they get a variety of issues and happenings while at the same time ensure the final story for their online news website is credible and not fake news.
“We try to make our stories credible as possible and we also try to maintain the balance.”
He said by being a credible news outlet while at the same time embrace citizen journalists they have on a number of occasions make government and people in public offices accountable.
“Because we only have 400 journalists in whole of Indonesia it is not enough to keep any eye out on issues so that’s why we need the citizen journalists.”
However by being a citizen journalist, one must register or fill in their details through their website so that information of the citizen journalists are also kept in a database where they can do follow-up questions and have enough lead to follow a story through.
For Solomon Islands, though there are forums mainly in social media raising issues, there is not much collaboration between them and the mainstream media to concur on issues and stories.
Hate comments and profanity are also common by most social media users.
In Indonesia, for Detik.com they ensure comments are filtered.
“We have the right to check out comments and make sure the comments section are monitored for such negativity.”
Ridwan says he is worried that with the increase of such open platform in social media, there is high chance for citizen oppression.
“That is why I feel that comments and negativity of any sort must be infiltrated,” he said.
In Indonesia there are more than 4000 online media. For such businesses, one always has to be innovative in order for it to stay afloat while at the same time maintain its integrity.
Detik.com had been in operation for two decades. Their journalists work mainly away from the workplace because of the need for them to cover stories on the ground as it happens.