Agrarian Reform Media Awards II, Peasants’ Gratitude to Journalists

Benni Wijaya

Jakarta ( - Agrarian Reform Media Awards II which were organized by KPA with Press Council (Dewan Pers) and Indonesia League of Television Journalists (IJTI) has completed all its process marked by the awarding for the recipients on Friday (3/8).

Held in the middle of “Launching toward Global Land Forum 2018” event in Hotel Akmani, Menteng, Central Jakarta, this Agrarian Reform Media Awards II were closed with the bestowing of straw hats to all the recipients.

That symbolic ceremony was done by Mr. Abdul Rojak, a Council Member of Indramayu Peasants Union (STI) as symbol of gratitude to journalists for their contributions in voicing the fate of the peasants and agrarian reform struggle. 

This was the second ceremony after it first held in 2016. Agrarian Reform Media Awards is KPA initiative as a symbol of appreciation and respect to all the journalists and press whom are concerned on the fate of the peasants and agrarian reform agenda through their journalistic works”, said Mdm. Dewi Kartika, the Secretary General of Consortium for Agrarian Reform.

With the main theme of “United for Land Rights, Peace and Justice”, this event also has 4 sub-topics which are Effective Action against Land Grabbing, Agrarian Reform, Food Sovereignty and Women’s Land Rights. Those themes are taken from GLF 2018 which will be held in Bandung, this September.

“The theme of this year’s Agrarian Reform Media Awards was taken from GLF 2018 because this event is a part in the series of events toward the GLF which will be held this September in Bandung,” added Dewi.

This event began with the reception of journalistic works of each participant from May 10th – July 10th 2018. During that time, 35 journalists participated in the event. They’re consisted of 19 national and 16 local journalists. While there are 46 journalistic works gathered for that event due to the ruling that every participants are allowed to sent maximum 3 of their journalistic works. Similar like before, this event was separated into 2 categories, which are text and audiovisual category.

From all of the works accepted, Board of Jury which is consisted of Imam Wahyudi (Dewan Pers), Gafar Yudtadi (IJTI), Abdul Manan (AJI) and Dewi Kartika (KPA) has finally decided on the 3 winners of each category.

The first winner for text/written category achieved by Dionisius Reynaldo from with his work entitled “Hinting Pali, Solusi Adat Petani” (Hinting Pali, Peasant’s Cultural Solution. 2nd place winner is Ika Ningtyas from with her work entitled “Nasib Buram Petani Bongkaran” (The Hazy Fate of Bongkaran Peasants). Lastly, Kresna Sugiarto from with his work entitled “Nasib Warga Kulon Progo yang Belum dan Sudah Digusur Proyek Bandara” (The fate of Kulon Progo Resident’s affected by the Airport Construction) took the 3rd spot.

Meanwhile the Berkas Kompas team from Kompas TV reclaimed the 1st place in audiovisual journalist works category entitled “Bandara Kertajati Gusur Petani?” (Does the Kertajati Airport Evicts Peasants?), 2nd place was taken by Rully Kurniawan from CNN TV with “Indonesia Darurat Generasi Petani” (The Emergency of Indonesia’s Peasant Generation) and the 3rd place was taken by Indonesiaku Team of Trans 7 with their work entitled “Desa Mulawarman, Kami yang Bertahan di Jerat Tambang” (Mulawarman Villagers, We Who Hold Out In the Snares of Mining Corporations).

Straw hats and Peasant’s Gratitude to Journalists

Voicing agrarian reform and the peasant’s fate weren’t easy tasks. Besides it’s unpopular, struggling in those issues possesses high risks in the safety of journalists.

This is recognized by one of the text category award recipient, Ika NIngtyas. As a journalist working in Malang, East Java, she acknowledged the little interest of journalists toward agrarian reform issue. Plus the height of risks faced.

“I am hoping that in the future there will be more of this type of awards,” said Ika.

“Covering agrarian reform news is a challenge in itself due to the complexity faced, plus agrarian reform is not a popular issue in the eyes of the readers”.

“Other than that, the high risks in covering agrarian reform issues such as land conflicts and evictions become a note in itself. Hopefully, with more of this kind of appreciations and awards such as this one could be a stimulant for us journalists,” she closed her statement.

This awarding ceremony ended with a testimony given by Abdul Rojak, plus the bestowing of straw hats to each award recipients.

In the past, we from Indramayu Peasants Union (STI) considered the journalists as totally inconsiderate to the fate of us peasants”, Rojak began his testimony.

The reason was that during our conflict with Perhutani many years past, there is no journalist who covers our aspirations in their news. Although we has done the orations as fiery as possible then”, he said.

But in fact, there are still many of our journalist friends who still care for our fate and be spread the voices of us peasants. The comrades standing here is a proof of that leniency,” he added.

We of the peasants are really grateful for the supports of our journalist colleagues, whom wanted to voice our fate albeit the very high risks. Hopefully in the future the solidarity between us peasants and the journalists may become solid for agrarian justice in Indonesia.” Rojak ended. (BW)

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