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Perspectives of Victims in Media Coverage on Terrorism

Oleh: AIDA

Jakarta – Dozens of journalists from various print and online media participated in the Short Course for Strengthening Victim Perspectives in Covering Terrorism 2019 at Sofyan Hotel, Jl Cut Meutia, Cikini, Menteng, Central Jakarta, Wednesday-Thursday (3-4, July 2019).

A number of prominent speakers were present, including the University of Indonesia (UI) Sociologist Imam B. Prasodjo, Nezar Patria Press Board Member, Multimedia Indonesia University Lecturer Hanif Suranto, and UI Solahudin terrorism study researcher. In addition, there were also former terrorists, Kurnia Widodo, and a number of terrorism survivors from Kampung Melayu, Thamrin and Kuningan bombers, namely Susi Afitriyani, Dwi Siti Romdhoni, and Wartini.

Imam Prasodjo explained, in this era of identity politics, the media has an important role in preventing conflict and division among the people. The reason is that identity politics is related to potential conflicts that affect media coverage. According to Imam, the media can also contribute greatly to bring about peace. “The media is as a mediator for readers and writers, therefore the media can become a forum for peace,” he said.

“The media as a mediator of readers and writers, therefore the media can become a forum for peace,”

Regarding Imam Prasodjo’s explanation, Hanif Suranto, an academic as well as a practitioner, also explained the lack of media coverage in the perspective of the victims, and still focused on the violence itself. He said coverage should be proactive, that is, understanding or opening up the roots of conflict and preventing violence. “The media must uphold the role of victims as a form of peacemaking. To achieve this peace, journalists can raise the news in terms of the rights of victims, empathy for them, up to the fate of victims up to now, “said the former journalist.

The participants then got a lot of victim perspective material on the next session and on the second day of the training. In the evening session, Wartini and Susi Afitriyani shared stories about how they lived their daily lives as victims of terrorism bombs. Despite being survivors, the two of them went through their usual days. The reason is, they claim to have made peace with themselves and have forgiven the perpetrators.

According to Susi Afitriyani who is familiarly called Pipit, God has a forgiving nature. So he learns to forgive the mistakes of others and to let go of everything that happened to him. “There is no reason for me not to forgive, because God is most gracious and forgiving. My time as a human being cannot be forgiven. I sincerely forgive, “said Pipit in a low voice. Wartini also gave a message of peace, that the perpetrators are also human. “I forgive them,” she said firmly.

In addition, they also told about the bomb attack that happened to him. After the event, they experience pain, trauma, fear, unstable emotions and so on. However, over time, slowly but surely, they try to open up, forgive themselves, and accept sincerely for all the events that have been destined.

The next perspective of victims was strengthened by survivors of Thamrin’s bomb victims, Dwi Siti Romdhoni, who is familiarly called Dwiki. He invited all elements of society to join hands to avoid various conflicts. This is so that there are no more fatalities and victims who have lost part of their limbs like them. Dwiki shared his experience, “… when hatred arises from victims, then the pain will increase. Therefore, we choose to make peace with circumstances … because love is the key to bringing about peace,” he said.

The survivors of terrorism hope that the rights of victims who have not been fulfilled will soon be realized by the government. Dwiki called on media members to encourage the fulfillment of these rights. He also stated the reason, “The thing is, the victims of terrorism are the ones who suffer the most, such as losing limbs, seeking treatment for years and loved ones to die in unnatural ways.”

AIDA Director, Hasibullah Satrawi also emphasized that the perspective of terrorism victims in media coverage covers at least two things, namely journalism which actively voices the fulfillment of victims’ rights by the government and in-depth coverage delivering peaceful messages from survivors. (NOV)

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