01 May 2009

A Bus Story


Acknowledgments first. Thanks to the Treespotter for the photo and pointing me in the direction of this fine piece of journalism.

Having lived in Jakarta for a long time there is nothing that surprises me, or if it does it is not for long. Hence, the above headline does not surprise me and it is about par for the course for "Lampu Merah" which is all about sensationalism in order to keep up circulation numbers.

The headline in essence says, "Boy sees girl in tank top, masturbates, ejaculates in direction of girl, girl screams." Well, there are a couple of extra words in there but they do not change the basic context of what I have translated here.

I guess this headline tells us two things; there are crazy people all over the world who do the weirdest (and perhaps most disgusting things) and that the Indonesian press is far freer than many people have believed it to be.

I gotta say that over the course of 15 years in Indonesia, and particularly Jakarta, I have seen some pretty strange things happen on buses but this indeed takes the cake. It certainly takes the phrase "a happy ending" to an all new level.

17 comments:

the writer said...

I have always wondered how Lampu Merah journalists write their articles in the first place? Because I know one who is relatively "quiet" and wearing jilbab. I didn't ask her if she also wrote the sex-related articles though - just didn't have the heart to do so :P

rani said...

I wonder how this particular article came out? Did the girl report the boy to the police?

I kind of picturing a journalist, half dozing in a metromini and suddenly awaken when his (yea, I suppose it's a he) esia mobile ringing, apparently a phone call from his editor who demand for a piece, something, anything, better be a front page material... and then he saw this :D

lawfree said...

does this really indicate freedom of the press?? should the newspaper not have published it as as some sort of self-censorship? should the Press board take it up and excommunicate the journalist? should the dept of Information shut the paper down?? of course not.... if little people do disgusting things let it be reported.... the cry of how free the press is here would be more salient if you noted papers published similar stuff about ministers and high rankig government employees

lawfree said...

does this really indicate freedom of the press?? should the newspaper not have published it as as some sort of self-censorship? should the Press board take it up and excommunicate the journalist? should the dept of Information shut the paper down?? of course not.... if little people do disgusting things let it be reported.... the cry of how free the press is here would be more salient if you noted papers published similar stuff about ministers and high rankig government employees

Rob Baiton said...

The Writer...

Who knows? Perhaps you should have asked ;)

I cannot see why a jilbab wearing journalist couldn't write a story like the one the headline indicates, as the news is the news.

Rani...

Sounds feasible. I am sure that these things happen. I gotta say I did not see such a thing in my time in Jakarta, but had heard such stories.

Lawfree...

Yes, it does indicate a loosening of the self-censorship papers and tabloids felt obligated to exercise in the past.

It brings to mind that Indonesia is a more violent place now than it was before because there are so many more cases of rape and child sexual assault.

However, an argument that does not get much paper space is that perhaps this is a case of more open reporting of these sorts of crimes.

Perhaps, it is a case that these crimes always occurred and it is only now with the explosion in the numbers of publishers of newspapers and tabloids that we see an explosion in the number of reports.

Pos Kota has always had these types of sensational stories. Lampu Merah tends to take it to another level. The market is competitive when it comes to circulation numbers and it is a simple case of more sensational more circulation.

I do not think my original piece even talks about that Lampu Merah should have self-censored and not published this piece.

It also does not suggest that the paper should be shut down or that the journalist should be excommunicated from any group to which they belong to.

These are words and ideas that you are trying to attribute to me that I do not hold or espouse.

Well, if I am not mistaken the press does report the carrying-ons of more Ministers and public servants than it has in the past. If I am not mistaken the Head of the KPK is getting plenty of press as a suspect in a murder.

Yes, I think arguments can be made that the Indonesian press is a much freer entity (or animal if you prefer) in 2009 than it has been in the past.

lawgee said...

I agree with you about freedom of press here. I just find this piece a strange indicator of such.

The KPK thing will unwind a bit later today it seems.... I feel that its an exception rather than the rule.... how do we measure FOP? You would know the defamation regime here better than I...

have u had a look at the Smeargate emails??? and what this guy thinks about the media in UK?

your blog is still up there: have you seen Hector's blog - found it on jakartass

Rob Baiton said...

Lawgee...

Which one does Hector own?

therry said...

Pos Kota, Lampu Merah, Warta Kota and so on... what are their similarities?

They always have headlines that already tell the jist of the stories, which render it useless for people to read furthermore.

But sensational, nevertheless. Their target market have always been the lower-class people who are interested in reading such stories... although I must say they give me a giggle too when I get the chance to read them!

lawgulp said...

"the power of the blogger is his status as an outsider"
from smh this week by Staines

you might want to read ackland on the press freedom dinner in the fair city of sydney - world's 15th most livable??

Rob Baiton said...

Therry...

Thanks for telling me that I am of the lower class :D

I read Pos Kota, Lampu Merah, and a number of others regularly.

Sometimes though these sensationalist rags break some good stories and also address some of the stories that no other "respectable" paper would touch.

These papers fill a niche market gap for sure.

Lawgulp...

Have read both.

Harry Nizam H. said...

Hi Rob,
It seems that the Pornography Law is not effective.

Harry Nizam H. said...

Hi Rob,
It seems that the Pornography Law is not effective.

Rob Baiton said...

Harry...

So it seems.

Anonymous said...

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PORN ON SERVERS IN THIS COUNTRY?? EVER HEARD OF ANY ACTION TAKE IN THIS REGARD?

Rob Baiton said...

Anonymous...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

A couple of points though. I generally ask that anonymous posters adopt a pen name (assuming you cannot use your real name - most people do this for me). Second all caps equates to shouting in netiquette terms.

So, are you shouting at me?

On to the substance. It is a good question. There must be stacks of it. I guess in terms of the porn law, it is a question of enforcement. Therefore, a better question is who is tasked with enforcing the law and who is going to go around and check hard disks and arrest people.

I think in all my posts on the subject previously have alluded to the enforcement problem and the risks that selective enforcement poses.

Will someone do something about porn on servers in Indonesia? Yes, maybe not today or tomorrow, and maybe not in 12 or 24 or 36 months. What is important here is that once the law is on the books it only requires an over zealous enforcer to step up and take the lead.

therry said...

Yeah Rob, you lower-class people you! *gives a paternal shake to her Jakarta Post and continues reading* :P

Rob Baiton said...

Therry...

You are not a Jakarta Globe reader?