PFF | 2019 SPS Tempo awards
Global awards won by Indonesia-based Tempo magazine reward decades of strong reporting - and are welcome recognition of excellence and editorial leadership says PFF, the Pacific Freedom Forum.
“PFF members across the region welcome news of the awards to Tempo,” says PFF Chair Bernadette Carreon.
“These awards celebrate what news media can achieve - strong, independent scrutiny, and effective accountability.”
From national and international journalism peers, the awards came from ICIJ, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and SPS, Serikat Perusahaan Pers, an Indonesian News Publishers Association, established in 1946.
For the Pacific region, Tempo has been a mainstay since 1971 of reporting on human rights abuses in west Papua, including recent allegations of chemical warfare, prompting a global outcry.
“These recent incidents again reinforce the need for free access to Papua, for all journalists, local and foreign, and other independent observers,” says Carreon, speaking from Palau.
PFF co-Chair Monica Miller notes that any news award can raise questions of bias and ethics from media critics.
“As journalists, we all recognise the role of ownership in news agendas. These include life or death decisions for workers. Or the difference between success and failure, either commercially or politically, in public or private media.”
Facing many such challenges, Tempo has forged a decades-old track record “any news outlet should be proud of,” says Miller speaking from American Samoa.
“Tempo sets a strong pace for other news media, and is respected world-wide for the quality of their journalism, and the impact of its investigations.”
PFF co-Chair Ofani Eremae, speaking from Solomon Islands, also welcomed Tempo reporting on the uncertain future of news, and supports a call from the founder of Tempo, Goenawan Mohamad for greater media support.
"PFF discussed crises in global journalism at its founding 2008 conference, and the last 10 years have not seen many solutions.”
In fact challenges facing news media are more urgent than ever, says Eremae.
"We join Tempo and other outlets calling for more resources to keep doing their job, as watchdogs on parliament, government, courts, corporations, and all our communities; the strong and the weak."
PFF leadership welcomes Tempo moves against "fake news", including a new fact-checking mechanism for Whatsapp, in the past misused to spread misinformation.
PFF also commends the founders of Tempo media for their legacy planning, enabling transition from media pioneers to institutional longevity - and expresses deep condolences for the unexpected death late last month of fellow magazine founder Ging Ginanjar, aged 54 years.