Legal Loopholes Allow Media Owners to Monopolize Information: Expert

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Jakarta – Local media owners can monopolize information circulating throughout society due to several loopholes in the broadcasting law, political communication expert Effendi Ghazali said at a hearing in the Constitutional Court in Jakarta on Tuesday.


“How many times do media owners appear on television?” Effendi challenged, citing media independency as one of the indicators of a democratic society.

The hearing is a part of judicial review on several articles in Law No. 32/2002 on Broadcasting, which was requested by the Independent Coalition for Democratic Broadcasting (IKDP). The Constitutional Court invited six experts to deliver their insights on the disputed articles.

The challenged articles include Article 18 Verse 1, stipulating that the ownership of private broadcasting companies is limited.

The coalition argued that some media tycoons had misinterpreted the articles, making them dominate TV stations.

They referred to several holding companies owning more than television stations, such as PT Visi Media Asia, which owns ANTV and TVOne; PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi, which owns Indosiar and SCTV; and MNC Group, which controls RCTI, MNC and Global TV.

Another expert present at the hearing, University of Indonesia economic law professor Erman Rajagukguk, disagreed with Effendi’s views, saying that it was not unlawful to own more than a TV station.

“It is not a monopoly because they do not own 75 percent of TV stations in Indonesia. It does not violate Article 4 of Law No. 5/1999 on Monopolies,” Erman said.



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