Refusing to be cowed Tempo reaffirms commitment to free and critical media

Source – August 22, 2020
Tempo chief editor Setri Yasa – Undated (Istimewa)

Dian Erika Nugraheny, Jakarta – The recent hacking of the website has not intimidated Tempo’s editors who will continue to take a critical stand in their reporting.

Tempo chief editor Setri Yasa said that the following the hack, reporting in the media that he heads will continue with the same character as before.

“We’re not frightened, we’re not scared. We will continue to report on what’s happening out there without any kind of hindrance or pretense”, said Yasa during a vertical discussion titled Hacking in the Virtual World on Saturday August 22.

Yasa said that the intimidation committed by the hackers is a test of how courageous Tempo is, adding that the hackers wanted to frighten Tempo’s editorial staff.

Aside from this, Yasa is of the view that the hack was related to a series of other incidents.

“The series of incidents I’m referring to are, colleagues at Tempo Newspaper and have repeatedly written about the use of influencers to campaign for the Omnibus Law [on Job Creation]. Following this our reports were used in discussions which were quite sharp in social media”, he said.

According to Yasa, the hacking of the website was an attempt to silence criticism [against the government] through its reporting.

He believes that it was as if the hackers wanted to convey that any and all means would be used to obstruct journalist’s work.

Yasa warned that the hacking of websites and social media accounts should be of concern to all parties because if it is not addressed it will become a serious threat to freedom of expression.

“This isn’t an issue of the Tempo website being hacked. Rather it is realated to attempts to silence and obstruct freedom of expression”, he asserted.

“Perhaps this time it was Tempo that was hacked. Tomorrow it could be another (media). So we must fight against these kinds of threats together”, said Yasa.

Early on Friday August 21 the national news website was hacked by unknown parties. That hack took place at 12.30 am in the morning.

Initially the homepage turned black then played “Gugur Bunga” (Fallen Flowers), a patriotic song honoring fallen wartime heroes for 15 minutes.

Then screen then displayed the message, “Stop Hoaxes, Don’t LIE to the ordinary people, return to true journalistic ethics [and] obey the Press Council. Don’t [bow down to] people who PAY. Defaced By @xdigeeembok”.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Pasca-peretasan Situs Tempo, Pemred: Kami Tidak Takut”.]