Three Indonesian journalists have resigned or been fired amidst a media ethics scandal, the Jakarta Post reported.
Indonesia’s press council investigated the claims that four journalists breached journalism ethics by asking for bribes and purchasing stocks in a steel company “during its initial public offering.” Three of the four were found guilty and the fourth case hasn’t been decided yet, the Jakarta Post explained.
The three journalists found to be at fault worked for Indonesia’s largest daily newspaper, Kompas, Seputar Indonesia Daily and detik.com. According to Jakarta Post, they were found to have used “their profession and journalist’s network to obtain shares in Krakatau’s IPO.” The fourth journalist reportedly works for Metro TV.
Press Council chairman, Bagir Manan, explained the results of the council’s investigation. “Their actions could create conflicts of interest because, as journalists covering the Indonesian Stock Exchange, they attempted to engage in stock trading for their own personal benefit, which is against Article 6 of the Journalists’ Code of Ethics,” Manan is quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.
That article reportedly states: “Indonesian journalists may not misuse their profession or accept bribes.”
See here, Indonesia’s journalism code of ethics. The code was “validated” by the press council in 2006.
But, there was no proof found that the journalists engaged in extortion, according to the Jakarta Post.
Both Detik.com and Seputar Indonesia reportedly conducted “internal investigations” of the bribery claims. The two media outlets’ findings were in line with the press council, as they found that the journalists acted contrary to journalism ethics, Jakarta Post reported. Both journalists resigned.
Meanwhile, Kompas daily’s managing editor, Budiman Tanuredja, reportedly said Kompas “respected the council’s decision” and fired the journalist.
The Jakarta Globe reported that Reinhard Nainggolan, “a veteran Kompas market reporter” who was fired, denies that he breached ethics.
“I never misused my profession in any way whatsoever when reporting on the Krakatau Steel IPO,” he is quoted as saying. “Nor did I ever accept bribes in the form of shares or money, as has been alleged.”
But, the Jakarta Globe noted that Nainggolan wouldn’t state “if he solicited a bribe or gotten hold of the company’s shares, legitimately or otherwise.”
iMediaEthics was unable to find any website for the press commission or its chairman. We did reach out to an Indonesian blogger named Reinnard Nainggolan to verify if he is the same Nainggolan recently fired and, if so, asking for comment. We will update with any response.