Expert Witness: Content Regarding 'Where Djinns Discard Children' Cannot Be Measured by Press Laws

- 05 August 2022 15:06 WIB
Dr. Nurlis Effendi speaking during court proceedings.
Dr. Nurlis Effendi speaking during court proceedings.

JAKARTADAILY.ID – A trial involving Youtuber and journalist Edy Mulyadi, who said that the location where Indonesia's new capital was being built –East Kalimantan–, is where "djinns discard children," has entered a new stage. 

The Public Prosecutors brought on a press law expert, Dr. Nurlis Effendi, an academic and journalist, to discern the application of the law between the press and sources.

Previously, Edy Mulyadi uploaded a video on his Bang Edy Youtube channel, where he said that the location of Indonesia's new capital, Nusantara, which is currently being built in East Kalimantan, is where "djinns discard children," subsequently angering the Dayak Tribe, native to the area, who filed a lawsuit at the Central Jakarta District Court. 

The prosecutor charged Edy Mulyadi with a criminal article regarding hate speech based on SARA (ethnicity, religion, race, and intergroup), also disturbing the peace among the people and broadcasting news that is uncertain or excessive news through electronic media. Edy Mulyadi was also charged with violating the Criminal Law Regulations and the Electronic Information and Transaction Law.

Edy Mulyadi said his statement was part of his profession as a journalist.

“Actually, the Press Law is the main guide for the national press. The main requirement is that the press must be an Indonesian legal entity. So it is very clear that Youtube does not belong to the press, but social media which cannot be measured by press law," said Nurlis who is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Malahayati University, Bandar Lampung.

Press Law also only provides legal protection for the press and journalists who are carrying out their journalistic activities. Nurlis explained that the journalistic activities referred to by the Press Law are the activities of journalists seeking information for publication.

"The information is in the form of data and facts, both in the form of text and photos (or a combination of both for print media), audio and audiovisual (for electronic media), as well as a full combination in cyber media, as well as infographics for print, television, and cyber media," he said.

"The flow is simply that the written material obtained by journalists is sent to the editors to be verified and does not violate the journalistic code of ethics by the editors, goes through the editing stage, and then is published," said Nurlis, who completed his doctoral program with a dissertation on the Construction of Press Law and Journalistic Ethics in the Digital Age.

According to Nurlis, journalistic work is not a series of haphazard words without direction. “Journalistic work uses light language, but still adheres to the correct Indonesian language rules. The weight lies in the data and facts presented and supported by appropriate and strong sources. More importantly, journalistic work is born from the principles of being honest, accurate, true, and fair,” he said.

This means that Nurlis' explanation shows that the Press Law does not protect the sources of information. He said that the content on Bang Edy Mulyadi's Youtube Channel account cannot be measured by Press Law.

"Firstly, Youtube is not a press company, and the second is that the person concerned is a resource person on the channel, both of which cannot be measured by the Press Law," he said.

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Editor: Suksmajati Kumara


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