New journalist association launched in Papua to empower and unite journalists

Suara Papua – October 8, 2023
Papua Journalists Association launch at Maranatha Convent Hall in Waena – October 7, 2023 (SP)

Yance Wenda, Jayapura – After being initiated in 2017, the Papua Journalists Association (AWP) was officially launched at the Maranatha Convent Hall in Waena, Jayapura City, Papua, on Saturday October 7.

AWP Chairperson Elisa Sekenyap said that the association represents the first indigenous journalist association in the Land of Papua. The AWP was officially registered with the Ministry of Justice and Human rights on January 7 this year.

"The AWP is present and established in the land of Papua in 2023 after we went through several stages", said Sekenyap in giving greeting at the launch.

With the presence of the AWP, explained Sekenyap, the goal is to improve the journalists' capacity, professionalism and ethics through a working program that will be conducted by the AWP.

Not only that, according to Sekenyap the AWP will of course support efforts to empower and stimulate indigenous Papuan journalists so they continue to develop in their work of writing articles and informing the public.

"It will of course also contribute to efforts to gather and disseminate information in all corners [of the country]".

"The AWP was established for the sake of national progress and to unite indigenous Papuan journalists in a vehicle of recruitment and research, as well as building partnerships", said Sekenyap.

In developing journalists' capacity, Sekenyap hopes that this will be supported by the government, non-government organisations along with other stakeholders.

Speaking in the same vein, senior Papuan journalist Lucky Ireeuw said he hopes the AWP will become a vehicle to unite Papuan journalists and also play a role in empowerment, including taking part in actively reporting on all dynamics in wider society.

This will include overseeing the implementation of Papuan Special Autonomy (Otsus) in producing journalistic work.

"Back in 2017, I was one of those who took part in establishing this organisation. We were five people who got together and talked about how it would be if there was a vehicle for Papuan journalists", said Ireeuw relating the origin of the AWP in giving his greetings before the launch.

Ireeuw, who is also the chairperson of the Jayapura city Independent Journalist Association (AJI), noted that several other national press organisations already exist including the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI), the Indonesian Television Journalists Association (ITJI), the Indonesian Cyber Media Association (AMSI) and so forth.

"There are many problems in society that of course need to be reported through the media, both in the print media and online, video works, films, photography and so on. The tasks associated with the journalistic profession are still being carried out, and through this vehicle the spirit of empowerment, capacity building can also be fought for", he added.

The AWP's launch was also welcomed by Gustaf Griapon, the head of the Information and Communication (Kominfo) office in Jayapura regency.

Griapon conveyed the message that the presence of the AWP will of course be good for journalists in pursuing their work, including monitoring all activities in the land of Papua.

"Any and all activities by the government and other organisations, as the eyes and ears to report on Papua", said Griapon.

Moreover, said Griapon, all Papuan journalists are obliged to oversee the implementation of Special Autonomy in the land of Papua.

"Whether it's about successes or what has not yet been implemented and yet to be felt, this needs to be monitored and must be published [through each media]", said Griapon.

In order to mark the launch of the AWP, all of the parties present signed two documents that were prepared by the organising committee.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Asosiasi Wartawan Papua Diresmikan, Ini Tujuan dan Agenda Kerjanya".]