“Journalists have an essential role in encouraging an increase in the community’s participation in general elections through news because elections are means for national integration,” he said at a meeting with journalists from West Papua here on Monday.
High participation of voters would show that the elections, be they for electing the president, regional heads, and legislative members, are carried out well, he added.
This is deemed inseparable from the role of journalists who can present fact-based and objective news to maintain the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, especially in West Papua.
“Let us work together to preserve democracy by encouraging people to participate in the 2024 General Elections. Spread the spirit of peaceful elections among the people,” he remarked.
The minister acknowledged that the development of digital technology and openness of public information are a challenge for journalists, therefore increasing journalist competency needs to be given high priority.
In addition, journalists also need to process and distribute quality information quickly and accurately so that people’s need for access to information is met.
“Now that information is available in seconds, the challenges for journalists are getting tougher. I hope that West Papua’s journalists will expand their horizons, skills, and networks,” he said.
The General Elections are scheduled to be held on February 14, 2024, with around 204.8 million voters spread in 514 districts and cities across Indonesia. The number of voters also includes those living in 128 countries.