Republika, Political Views, and Tricks to Cover International Events

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In 2008, an American media named Fox once interviewed media and newspapers in Indonesia. One of them is Republika. Fox interviewed Republika regarding how the press in Indonesia covers international issues. Lots of guesses, lots of assumptions. Each media has its editorial policy. Including the editorial policy is strongly influenced by the political position in which the media is located. Indonesia itself has its side in viewing international cases and separatism. How does the media behave?

“Journalists of Republika are cautious in choosing diction, sorting out sources of information, especially diction,” said Yeyen Rostiyanti (International editor of Republika Newspaper) as the Political Communications Expert Lecture on Saturday, December 18, 2021. This time the Expert Lecture took the theme Editorial Policy of Republika newspaper in Covering the Events of the Islamic World Abroad.

“For example, regarding the diction ‘armed group Hamas’, we choose Hamas Group. Or for example, in the invasion of Gaza, we call it Fall. Meanwhile, in the media other than Republika, we will call it dead,” said Yeyen explaining the editorial kitchen of Republika. According to Yeyen, that’s what distinguishes right and wrong diction. The diction can also affect the angle, She said. “This is the culprit, which can be seen from the diction,” said Yeyen.

In addition to covering Palestinian and Israeli issues, Yeyen also recounted cases of international events in the Uighur, Kashmir, Rohingya, Israel, and Palestine matters. The unresolved issue is Islamophobia (France, India, etc.). Yeyen told how Republika prioritized humanitarian and human rights issues as a basis for thinking and political attitudes in reporting. Human rights and humanitarian problems are more universal than judging these groups as separatists or rebels in a country.

Republika’s Editorial Policy

Yeyen said that all this time, Republika was also careful in choosing news sources that were used as references for international news writing. As far as news sources are concerned, Republika must be open that journalistic standards are excellent, relying on a code of ethics. That is why journalists are one of the professions protected by the Geneva Conventions that cannot be killed during the war. “For example, when we cover Palestine, we have to understand the background of the issue. If we understand the issue, we can sort and choose which news sources we choose,” She said. International news packaging is essential considering angle, diction, news sources, and writing (quotes, mention of references, etc.).

“Several times, we chose an Israeli source, the Israeli media named Hareetz, this is Israeli media, but it turns out to be raising the issue of Palestine and criticism of their government. Like this, the news value will be higher because the Israeli media itself pick it up than if we choose news sources from the Middle East when they bring up the issue of the Israeli invasion of Palestine in 2021,” Yeyen said. So, we can’t translate it ultimately. All news is raw from sources.

Yeyen has been in Republika Newspaper since 1997. She has attended international journalism training held by Reuters and Global Journalism and Social media Course training held by the US Embassy. Yeyen also has experience in conducting interviews with several world leaders. For example, She once interviewed the President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussein, in 2016, a matter of bilateral relations between Indonesia and Pakistan. She also questioned the head of the international red cross (ICRC / international Committee of the Red Cross), Peter Maurer, about hopes on Indonesia.

“We see from several kinds of literature, Republika which quite focused on Islamic media, t I’m only about politics. Even Republika has a rubric called Ihram which specifically talks about lifestyle from an Islamic point of view,” said Narayana Mahendra, Lecturer in Political Communication Course, explaining his goal of inviting Republika Newspaper to fill an expert lecture.