Andreas Harsono - Many journalists work for military or intelligence agencies and write to a specific agenda
MICHAEL ANDREW | Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch
AUCKLAND - The Indonesian media is contributing to resentment and racism toward Papuans, according to a human rights researcher and former journalist.
Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch Jakarta told Pacific Media Watch many Indonesian journalists either view Papuans as enemy "separatists" or deviants and their reporting tends to convey these stereotypes.
Papuan anger has erupted in widespread riots and rallies across Indonesia over the last week, after a militia attacked West Papuan students in Surabaya, pelting them with stones and calling them “monkeys”.
Harsono, who is in New Zealand promoting his latest book ‘Race, Islam and Power’, says the manner in which the media reported the attacks has created further anti-Papuan resentment which in turn sparked a backlash from the West Papuans themselves.
“The attack was reported by the media, videoed by the media, but it raised anger back home, now almost 30 cities are having rallies protesting against the use of the word ‘monkey’ for this Papuan people."