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Tunisian-Indonesian media dialogue on "role of citizen journalism in completing democratic process".

(TAP) -- Participants in the Tunisia-Indonesia Bilateral Inter-Media Dialogue held Tuesday in Tunis said citizen journalism can be a means and a vehicle to support "traditional journalism" as it seeks to strengthen its contribution to completing the democratic transition in several countries including Tunisia and Indonesia.

Participants also discussed how to make the best use of this "new type" of journalism, which relies on digital platforms and social networks that help disseminate news timely.

This fact "embarrasses" traditional media and makes them loose some of their popularity after facing competition from citizen journalism, as reported by Tunisia's National TV journalist Najeh Missaoui.

Speaking about the experience of Tunisian television in facing the competition of citizen media, Missaoui said the public media is threatened if it does not change its working methods and if it fails to cover the events in a timely manner.

He said citizen journalism is beneficial provided that the credibility of news provided is checked. It could help public media provide "citizen service" after they have become closer to the concerns of citizens and probably to their expectations and dreams.

In the same context, News Manager Metro TV Indonesia, Jati Savitri presented a case study on citizen journalism in her country, saying it has grown remarkably since 2012.

"We have taken advantage from this type of journalism as we were able to cover many live events thanks to citizens. However, we do not air videos before checking their credibility."

In her remarks, Mouna Mtibaa, Director of External Relations, TAP news agency, said in light of the growing citizen journalism in Tunisia, especially after the January 2011 revolution, which started competing the agency's press work, the agency has turned to digital platforms and social media to provide news to all citizens in a timely manner.

Deputy Chief Editor, Kompas Indonesia, Trias Kuncahyono called for the need to scrutinize the issue of freedom of expression, saying "this freedom has been transformed in many websites into hysteria that could undermine any democratic building in any country"

Kuncahyono added that several sites pass speeches of hatred and ethnic and sectarian discrimination. These sites cannot be considered spaces of freedom of expression because they do not seek to serve the ideal values CiCiof humanity or to build a society of justice in which everyone can live despite their differences.

The participants agreed that all platforms of citizenship journalism can be used "in spite of their deviations" to establish a media that serves all humanitarian issues and is closer to citizens.

This bilateral dialogue was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and is part of the Bali Democracy Forum.

The Director of Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Indonesia said his country has organised this dialogue with several other countries but is being held for the first time in the Maghreb.

It is seeking to limit the use of the media space to spread the hate speech and expand the presence of a speech promoting the establishment of a peaceful and harmonious world society.

The meeting was concluded by Indonesian Ambassador to Tunisia Ikrar Nusa Bhakti who said this forum will mark the beginning of "intensive" co-operation between Indonesian and Tunisian media institutions, in terms of exchange of visits and news and implementation of joint media projects.

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Publication:Agency Tunis Afrique Press
Date:Oct 3, 2017
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