Subject: KMP: Journalists in East Timor warned on objectivity, impartiality
Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 08:59:07 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts Journalists in East Timor warned on objectivity, impartiality 'Kompas', Jakarta, in Indonesian 30 Apr 99

Dili: In order to avoid harming themselves, journalists working in East Timor must observe the journalistic code of ethics while carrying out their duties on the ground. Coverage of East Timor in the coming months would be politically charged, therefore objectivity, impartiality and fairness were essential to the community and particularly the two opposing sides.

In Dili on Thursday (29th April), the intelligence section head at 164 Military Provincial Command, Maj Bambang Wisnumurthy, said that in the coming months, journalists should carry out their duties as normal in East Timor, but abide by the journalistic code of ethics.

The major said that the Liquisa incident two weeks ago should be a warning to journalists that the code of ethics must be observed. The harassment of foreign journalists and several regional journalists, whose names were on the Red and White Iron militia's list, demonstrated the high level of dissatisfaction among pro-integrationists, he said.

Commenting on the actions of Red and White Iron members towards journalists at Liquisa, Bambang said: "They were just small actions and not a serious threat to the journalists' safety. Every job has its risks, let alone in a place like East Timor. Everybody feels unsafe. The main thing is that journalists carry out their work in accordance with the aspirations of both sides."

Similar comments were made by the acting head of the Indonesian Journalists Union (PWI) in East Timor, Parling Tobing: "No reports have been submitted on the Liquisa incident, the destruction of the ' Voice of East Timor'newspaper office, the harassment of 'Voice of East Timor' and 'Novas' journalists and other events. If we received reports and the journalists involved were PWI members, we would process them," Tobing said.

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