Monday, 30 April 2007

Interviewing's CEO

I’ve had my interview with Adrianto Gani, the CEO of, he is a nice and open minded person. We talked about, all the things related to the founding and building wikimu, then about the position of Citizen Journalism in the eye of the press. He even introduced a new label Civil Journalism (he heard about it somewhere), I really need to check it out.

I introduce OMNI to him. I thought by sending him the article about the collaboration work he would dig it out himself. Yet, he apologized for being very busy lately. Fortunately I’ve done my homework, I’ve read more about OMNI and about Citizen Journalism from Poynter.

He was really curious on how OMNI is running financially, that’s something he needs to find out himself! I gave him the slightest knowledge I had from things I’ve read, yet finance is not really something that ring a bell in my head!

He told me his awkward position as the CEO. Now as more and more members know him as the CEO, it seemed that people are waiting for his comment to end a discussion (this is about our mailing list, another new activity of Indonesians are still very attached to the hierarchy, and his position makes him at the top of the hierarchy. Yet, from my own perspective his awareness made him produce a good and acceptable comment.

As the example I raised question about the translation of wikimu’s slogan: bisa bisanya kita… From the mailing list of the Indonesian translators, Bahtera, I’ve got a comment to reconsider the slogan as it has a negative meaning. As slang, it doesn’t implied negative things. I posted the comments to wikimu’s mailing list and got a lot of replies. Yet, I’ve found that Adri’s comment is the closest in meaning, it could be applied to all the other comments.

Recently we are debating on “Do we need to make a guidance book for writing?”
I do think it is necessary to have the guidance as I do want to improve my quality of writing. The professional journalists are all pro guidance, but there are members who thought that it would cut their freedom of writing, it would make them loose their own style of writing. Adri doesn’t want to sound his perspective as it might end the discussion. But, sooner or later one member will yell…”Pak Adri, what do you think?”

I told him about the SG and IG articles in OMNI to give him more variety of input. Personally I think we must be very careful in making a decision. Wikimu is popular as people feel they own it, their comments are really considered. (I’ve been writing about the dilemma for writing to wikimu as “unknown” contributor to the mainstream media in my other post). The priority of at the moment is to gain as much readers’ attention to write. I’ve been dealing with mainstream media’s rejection from my young age, yet finding my second article stays in SG articles is not really “OK” with me. I was happy though that people could still read it (only if they unfortunately bumped to it). So, a really novice writer will be disappointed and put off the light in his/her writing spirit (may be the same reason of my unwillingness to write after series of rejection from the conventional media?!)

When they first founding wikimu, they even think they would receive any short message from the cell phone to cater the needs of recent information. So, why don’t they continue that way? Be different! But, they need to think about writer like me who is in the middle between pro and ordinary citizen journalist. We do need guidance to improve our skill. Or as Outing had mention in Poynter, how about the internship (journalistic students), they do need to improve their writing skill in practice.

There was one other interesting topic besides many others that we’ve been discussing that evening, I will write about it in the other post to come.

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