One major issue that is at the forefront for national and regional priorities is the prevention of child marriage practices. For AIPJ2, this issue has become part of the program work plan with respective Bappenas and line ministries stakeholders, as well as partners of civil society (CSOs) organizations.
In the area of South Sulawesi, which also serves as AIPJ2 collaborative hub and gateway for eastern Indonesia partners, various research and coalition effort in ending child marriage has long been taking place in the first phase of AIPJ (2013-2016) and during transition to AIPJ2 (2016-2017). South Sulawesi Provincial Government has also stated its commitment to fulfil the national criteria as child-appropriate province.
In line with the AIPJ2 Communication Strategy, one of the key activities proposed to strengthen dialogue between stakeholders and the public is to enhance journalists’ skills and the quality of media coverage. Amid the frenzied social media and hoax news, as well as online news demands to present speed above quality, it is not easy for journalists and editors to raise important issue through in-depth and quality coverage.
Communications, as part of the Partnership Development component of AIPJ2, is also strives to support the capacity building (systems and skills) of Government of Indonesia and partners. The improvement of their capacity also requires the improvement at the media side, which will play instrumental role in communicating and advocating the public and trigger dialogues that will make some influence to the policy process.
This journalist workshop will also address AIPJ2 communications objectives to link popular communications platform/channels such as TV show, popular media, and documentary/film to priority issues such as child marriage and achieve ‘high quality high reach’ communications.
Without these high quality and high reach coverage, the sensational, one-off, and instant coverage types will dominate. The public will continue to experience polarized, disinformation campaign and hence less opportunity to instil critical thinking and healthy dialogues. The public trust on print and online media also needs to be regained across all segments (young, senior, etc). Therefore, this set of activities will have three main sequences namely:
- Workshop: capacity building for journalists
- Fellowship: mentoring and practices for journalists and networking/engagement with CSOs
- Public Dialogue: consulting public views, including government stakeholders on articles published by these journalists and linking to CSOs ongoing work/effort in preventing child marriage
For this purpose, AIPJ2 will engage Perhimpunan Pengembangan Media Nusantara (PPMN). PPMN has collaborated with some media organization in Indonesia, regional, and global. One of them is Global Investigation Journalism Network (GIJN) where the subordinary of PPMN, JARING is members in Indonesia.
AIPJ2 and PPMN will link the International Women’s Day celebration with a public dialogue between journalists who have undergone fellowship program with PPMN in January – February 2019; AIPJ2’s partner CSOs, and South Sulawesi government agencies.
The purpose of this public dialogue is to highlight the findings from the published articles (by five fellow journalists), latest research and community-based works (AIPJ2 partners and coalitions) and latest South Sulawesi government policy.
This is also a potential opportunity to develop press release and public diplomacy/social media strategy for the event (engaging the Consulate General in Makassar, AJI’s network, SPAK members, etc).
The AIPJ2 Knowledge Hub Makassar can further identify follow up activities to continue the dialogue.