The Greenstump happens to think that good governance is not a cultural thing or political system thing but rests solely on the shoulders of a Free and Aggressive Press. The notion that any one group of people are more honest than others is a nonsense. However, the fear of exposure will keep many of the nastiest of us on the straight and narrow.
One of the things that continually puzzle me is the way people say with a straight face that a free press exists in Indonesia. It doesn't! Although this has less to do with Government Regulation and more to do with the lack of solidarity amongst journalists. The silence and acceptance when one of their brethren is attacked or threatened (legally or physically)is mystifying to someone brought up on the ideals of a free and aggressive Press Corp.
This lack of support has lead to the Conga Line of Suckholes that currently provide the schloss that passes for news and information in Indonesia...Yeesss Pak...No Pak...Thank You Pak. A quick example, why isn’t the press crawling all over this guy!
It was the world’s worst and most inept explanation for systematic corruption and yet he gets away with it. By the way, I don’t blame the plodders that actually did the deed in the linked video. Your average copper have little choice but to engage in "external" activities just to survive on the official wage not to mention the burden of repaying the entry to the force favours.
Even more of a freedom of speech concern are those who both within and outside the profession that support the suppression of free speech. Their very first plank of treachery to the people is the nebulous claim there has to an absolute responsibility for what is written. What thuggish and dictatorial rubbish!
When it comes to comments on public figures and politicians as the cartoon says “You wear green tights, ya take your chances”. In a democracy, the only way to hold these people accountable is via the press. In regard to this trust, with some notable exceptions, who are regularly left hanging by their brethren when the dark powers move in to silence their critics, the Press fails not only the people but itself.
Spare me the spurious argument that does that mean I support pornography, hate sites etc. A healthy robust reporting community exposes such evils to the light of day where they wither and die anyway. To say otherwise underestimates the readers and insults the public. Libel and slander allegations are generally is just so much floss and the last refuge of the corrupt and evil. Newspapers, Television even blogs become self regulating if allowed to conduct themselves in an environment of free speech rather than one of fear, intimidation and money favours.
It may surprise some that even blog world is self regulating if allowed to be. For instance, a regular blogging Troll happens to state that Greenstump spends a lot of time in a pool of vomit. Slander, not really, the Troll has no credibility and would not be believed by any reasonable person. Should a more respected member of the blog world say that, quite possibly it would be believed. However, continued falsehoods would quickly eat any at the site’s reputation and damage returned would be far more than the slander slung. More to the point a fair and aggressive questioning by others on dubious assertions presented (free from violence and intimidation) would soon relegate the transgressor to the dustbin of the also-rans.
However, all of the above is not the case in Indonesia which remains a scary place for any that step out of line (although difficult to know who drew the line). Even here in good ol Blog World, there is this silly notion that bloggers should not be anonymous(or allowed to be). Whilst, I concur that the very fact you are anonymous (albeit to a certain extent a delusion) detracts from the reputation of your posts for a lot of us its small price to pay for some level of protection from the small minded, the petty and the vindictive.
There is no shortage of nasties who seek to stifle free speech in ALL it's forms and strangely these "throwbacks" to darker times are supported by the most surprising of people. To suggest that there is no risk in commenting on the rich and powerful or even the just plain nasty in Indonesia is to live in a fantasy world of bizarre dimensions.
To subscribe to the notion that a writer who pokes fun and mischief at the powerful, the self absorbed and the egotistical should be held to same standard of proofs required in a court of law is absurd. Even more obscene is the suggestion, that a writer in any forum should expect (or deserve) threats of violence if they annoy someone by what they write in the public interest (whoever small or large their public may be)
Should there be standards, of course there should. As discussed previously a healthy robust writing community will and should self regulate via debate, discussion, ridicule if required. Threats of violence and the suppression of someone’s right to speak, should not be supported by “dollar each way comments” in any shape or form. It’s sad to read such comments by people with the experience to know better because there lies the road to the destruction of their own prepubescent industry.