AES Thought Traces from Student Press to Democratic Socialism Media

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amir Effendi Siregar (AES) is the founder of UII Communication Studies Study Program. He is a fighter, activist, fighting for the democratization of the media in Indonesia. He is a role model for practitioners, schoolars, and activists at once.

“Something that is rather difficult to find because it is located in three different regions,” said Puji Rianto in a scientific discussion at the Amir Effendi Siregar Forum (AES Forum) which was broadcast live on the Youtube Channel of Uniicoms TV, UII Communication Science Study Program, on November 7, 2020.

How Puji mapped AES thinking?

He read the main works of AES and then grouped them into relevant main themes. Puji then looks for a common thread in order to find the basic idea or idea of ​​AES.

AES profile, which Puji mentioned, has been in three different regions, being Secretary General of SPS, Member of the Press Council, Founder and Chair of PR2media (Regulatory Monitor and Media Regulator), and at the practitioner level he was also the founder of Warta Ekonomi magazine.

Praise is tracing the thoughts of Bang Amir, the nickname of AES, is a thought that is thick with Democratic Socialism. Both in thinking about state issues and in democratizing the media.

Puji wants to emphasize that since AES has become a student press activist, he has drawn his ideas in discussing national issues. According to Puji, this was stated for example in the book ‘Student Press, Broken Tumbuh Hilang Changing’ which he wrote as a thesis. AES wrote, “Since the independence of the Republic of Indonesia, the Indonesian political system has always shifted from libertarian to authoriarian and vice versa,” said Puji reading part of the AES book.

“The indicator of a democratic country,” Puji continued, “is the guarantee of freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” said Puji.

This is an outline map of Bang Amir’s thoughts which is contained in his book ‘Menegakan Democratization of Broadcasting’. This book is a book that he prepared and presented as an expert witness in the Constitutional Court Session on Case No. 78 / PUU-Ix / 2011 dated February 15, 2012 concerning the review of Lawconcerning broadcasting of the 1945 Indonesian Constitution.

32/2002AES vision, said Puji, is AES ‘sosdem (Democratic Socialism) vision for the media. “Diversity is important, without the guarantee of diversity of voices, diversity of content, and diversity of ownership, it will open up opportunities for the emergence of new authoritarianism, capital autocraticism and oligopoly by a few people in the name of freedom and by itself kills democracy,” explained Puji Rianto, who is also an expert on imaginary research and media and communication regulation at UII Communications.

Puji explained that the works of AES and PR2media almost always require diversity and at the same time reject centralization and concentration. “In fact, he (AES) rejected a short and concise title if he could not ensure democracy and diversity,” recalled Puji.

Therefore, “the PR2media book always has subtitles, it is to ensure that the concept of democracy emerges,” he said. That is also to ensure that oligopoly is a dangerous thing, “and diversity is something that is being fought for, it appears there,” said Puji reminiscing about the days with Bang Amir while working on PR2Media books.