Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Killing the Messenger

Suharto's regime in Indonesia closed news magazine Tempo and other weekly (Editor and DeTik) in June 21th 1984. Duncan McCargo name it as policy of "Killing the Messenger", which is marked the beginning of the end for Suharto and the New Order.

Ratih Hardjono wrote:

This was a turning point for Indonesian journalism and also for Indonesian politics. It was a humiliating experience for Indonesian journalism. Tempo had set a high standard of journalism while also trying to be responsible, trying to meet the authorities half way. But it wasn't enough. They still closed Tempo down because it dared to expose a difference of opinion in ex-President Suharto's cabinet, about a project of his protègè Habibie.

"Tempo becomes history, and I'm surprised and I'm saddened," said Fikri Jufri, editor in chief of Tempo, to The New York Times.

The Information Ministry said that it closed Tempo after the magazine, which had a circulation of about 190,000, failed to heed several warnings about its news coverage. The director of the ministry's press department was quoted in news reports from Jakarta as saying that recent articles in Tempo "haven't reflected the life of a sound press, a free and responsible press."

Today people remember that day in parking yard of Koran Tempo office in Velbak, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan. Some prominent figures attend the event, including Goenawan Mohamad, Fikri Jufri, Bambang Harimurti, S Malela Mahargasari, and Eros Djarot.

Ras Muhamad, reggae singer, and his music group entertain people with his critical songs.

You can see some photos of the event.

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