Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Kompas and Kompasiana

The daily printed Kompas has not only ventured into Kompas Cyber Media, but also into citizen journalism through its

I remember that the founder and owner of Kompas Group, Jakob Oetama, had his skepticism toward news written by citizens. He told me that in the a short conversation before the press conference of the Indonesian-Japan Expo 2008. So I was really interested in knowing his opinion now...about one and a half year after that moment. Especially now, when Kompasiana had already opened its door to public contributors. Kompasiana doesn't need editorial permission to get published. It is really on your own...just a click away! Personally I think that editorial is still very important. Wikimu didn't have a very strict editorial process like the one I've found in OhmyNews International(OMNI). I learned a lot about journalism from OMNI but I also learned a lot about the new media from the comments that came from Wikimu's readers.

I shared my wonderful day with Kompasianers in a writing "Kompas Menulis Bersama Pembaca (Catatanku dari Kompasiana Modis)". Kompas is now starting to ask readers to write. From some articles that I've read in both Kompasiana and the printed Kompas, I can say that Kompas is now writing with its readers, hopefully that will help them evolving as printed media through the changing need of the community.

Another writing from Linda Djalil, a Kompasianer who was once a professional journalist, made me write about how I've met Jakob Oetama in the Indonesian-Japan Expo 2008. Linda wrote a letter for Pak Jakob, the founder and owner Kompas. In the letter she also revealed how she was once gave a wrong name (jokingly) to a Kompas' journalist, and it was printed out without being checked. I like to ask for the press release when I came to an event. It used to be preserved only for journalists. It was not easy as a citizen to get a press release, while it is important for us to do our check and recheck too. If it is the goodie bag that matter, actually that is not important for me. It is those piece of papers which I valued (and hopefully it has something in it, as sometimes the content is not really very informative, but I do need it especially for names). I always think that giving a chance for a blogger to get a press release would help eliminate those fake journalists (known here as wartawan bodrex), but there is always the possibility of people looking at a blogger as a "fake journalist". It really depends on the personality of the blogger, so I can't insist on my opinion. We'll see through the expanding horizon of citizen journalism.

Mas Isjet, one of the administrators in Kompasiana asked me to write about OMNI. I do need time to prepare that kind of writing, but may be I'll be happy to share a bit of my experience being a citizen reporter for both Wikimu and OMNI.

These days, time is more valuable than anything else. Being a citizen reporter made me think of myself as a real citizen. I demanded myself to exist not only in online world but also in the real world (I did have my share of being a citizen in the neighbourhood, but these days I just really try to be better). My real world is around my house, so I won't be catching up with those celebrity bloggers. Yet, that is why I love being a citizen reporter, because I can also present my views in my own words, using my own free time. I can write after mid-night or very early in the morning, things that would never be possible to have in the real world. How can I go out to chat with my neighbour (a fellow housewife) at midnight? That's impossible in the real world, but I can do it in the internet. So writing for citizen journalism websites help me to go out without really going out of the walls of my home.

Kompasiana is the first citizen journalism outlet from the mainstream media. I heard that Politikana is also belongs to Tempo. I thought it was only founded by people who are closed to Tempo, and in the progress it was supported by Tempo. I do need to do more interviews to find it out. Yet, with Kompas and its public Kompasiana, I'm hoping to see another approach toward citizen journalism.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The three brothers (Korean Film)

Since coming back from Seoul, I've been interested in things that are related to Korea. One of that special interest is the Korean films. I saw some of Korean's television dramas were so real...The everyday problems that we are also encounter, globally...

I was the loyal follower of the Japanese film "Oshin" before, now I'm interested in following the story of "The three brothers". It's a bit funny that the title which should be translated into Indonesian language as "Tiga bersaudara" gets another translation "Keluarga Aneh" (Weird family). This is a TV serial from KBS, and it seemed that it has quite some sponsors from Indonesia; Korean restaurant, Korean wallpaper gallery, and I've also seen Garuda Indonesia (hopefully I'm not remembering another film as I'm not really sure seeing it today). I could also see some Korean advertisements, Korean singers during the film break.

I like the three brothers as it is so close to a family story, and seems so real yet so frightening...The character that made me interested in this film is actually Wu-mi, the housewife who had to face her mother-in-law's high demand everyday. Then, she still have to deal with an uncaring husband, who was persistent of not doing any infidelity while giving his special attention to his assistant in his business. It's unbelievable that there is a mother-in-law like the one who lives with Wu-Mi. And it's more amazing that a person like Wu-Mi can stand such a hard and boring life. Yet, that film made me thankful for the family I have today...

Other characters are also very interesting, but the story of Wu-Mi made me wondering of her future life. She is so Asian type, so humble and defenseless. Actually I would love to see her open her own restaurant and be a successful restaurant owner, instead of putting the rest of her life in that sorrowful condition. With her hard work and her cooking skill she can also run her own business. She deserve more than that.

Seeing Wu-Mi in her sleeping condition, when she drank overdose sleeping pills, didn't make her husband realize his wrongdoing. Wu-Mi has a strong capacity to handle all her miseries, she is tough in her husband's eyes. The "strictly business" relation between him and his assistant is already an infidelity in a woman's(wife's) feeling, but he was never realizing how he came into that trap. A weak and crying woman blinded him from the painful life that his wife had to live while living with him and his big family. But, that's life...we can see a lot of stories like that in our surroundings. I'm still curious about the future of wonder this film got successful rating in Korea.

The picture above was taken from All Koreans Online Community

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Links to my writings in Citizen Journalism Websites

These writings are in Bahasa Indonesia. As I became more into blogging in English here, I did not upload my writings in Bahasa Indonesia here (like I used to be).

Yet, I would like to have it in one file, so it would be easier to remember or to find it later.

Penting Mana, Fotografer Pandai Atau Kamera Pintar? I like to have beautiful pictures in my writings, but I am not diligent enough to study photography. I have a lot of photographers in my family, so it wasn't seem so important. But being in citizen journalism made me wonder back to photography and asked myself, "Which one is more important, the photographer or a good camera?"

Berkunjung Ke Museum POLRI, Membuat Anak-anak Enggan Beranjak Pulang
This one is about a rather new museum, Museum POLRI, the Indonesian Police Museum. I was not really enthusiastic on this museum, but my kids seemed to enjoy it...

OSK 2010, Pengalaman Pertama Si Kembar This year my twins tried the Kuark Science Olympiad, an interesting new experience for them, and it was the last Kuark Olympiad for my eldest son.

Hari Sabtu Kenangan: Kompasiana Nangkring dan Kapal yang Bisa Beranak Short story of my first offline meeting with Kompasiana, the citizen journalism website from the daily Kompas.

Renungan Diri Di Hari Nyepi I made a self reflection during the Balinese Saka New Year which was celebrated with Nyepi, a Silent Day. This perhaps inspired the World Silent Day, but the one that I remembered when I wrote this piece was the Earth Hour.

I'm not really active in my cyber life at the moment. Going back to teaching elementary and Junior High School took a lot of my energy. Balancing my offline and online life is also my most important resolution this year. Let it be God who decide my path, I'll walk with Him...

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

International Women's Day: a Self Reflection

Bloggers Unite has an event of writing about the International Women's Day (IWD) for March 8, 2010. In the introduction for the post, it is written that the objective of the writing is to acknowledge the IWD as a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Indonesia only has one day for women, Hari Ibu. The translation into English will make it a "Mother's day", but it was actually started as a Women's Day.

If we read it in English Wikipedia, it is shown clearly that Hari Ibu started from a celebration of Indonesian Women's Congress.
Mother's day (Indonesian: Hari Ibu) is celebrated nationally on December 22. It is the day of the first Indonesian Women Congress (Indonesian: Konggres Perempuan Indonesia) from December 22 to 25, 1928. The meeting happens in a building now known as Mandalabhakti Wanitatama in Adisucipto Street, Yogyakarta. It was attended by 30 female organizations from 12 cities in Java and Sumatra. In Indonesia, female organizations have existed since 1912, inspired by Indonesian heroines of the 19th century, e.g. Kartini, Martha Christina Tiahahu, Cut Nyak Meutia, Maria Walanda Maramis, Dewi Sartika, Nyai Ahmad Dahlan, Rasuna Said, etc.

The idea to make the day official was started during the third Indonesian Women Congress in 1938. It was signed by president Soekarno under the Presidential Decree (Indonesian: Dekrit Presiden) no. 316 year 1959. The day was originally aimed to celebrate the spirit of Indonesian women to improve the condition of the nation. Today, Mother's Day is celebrated by expressing love and gratitude to mothers. People present gifts to mothers, such as flowers, hold surprise parties and competitions such as cooking competition or kebaya wearing competition. People also allow mothers to have their day off from doing domestic chores.[citation needed]

From the Indonesian wikipedia, we can read that Hari Ibu used to be a day to voice out voices of Indonesian women, i.e. voicing their concern about high prices (read the Indonesian wikipedia). Indonesia had its first woman minister in 1950 with the appointment of Ibu Maria Ulfah as a Minister of Social Welfare (Menteri Sosial). Now, we have more than one woman minister in the cabinet. Yet, life for women is not easier than before. Women as the target of domestic violence are still here. I've known a story of a woman who worked overseas as a migrant worker, sending her money home, while her husband is using that money to live with his other wife here...That's life!

Actually, reading my grandmother's biographical notes made me realize that she was braver and more advance in taking her choices of life than me. May be it was due to her freedom from a family life? She lived her life alone, never had a family responsibility, the one that married women would usually struggling in.

I used to dream of taking my master degree, but failed to gain any scholarships. Yet, may be I was not persistent enough on that dream. I changed my mind as I get married and have children. Kartini gave up her scholarship, and later on she got married. Delivering her baby made her lost her life. Having my own children to me was like starting to loose my old life and started a whole new world. Citizen journalism made me came back to a part of my old life. It is something that makes me alive, and I'm trying hard to keep the balance of my "present" life.

I wonder if there is a relation between the changing meaning of Indonesian Women's day. "Hari Ibu" is not representing women's day anymore, but is reduced into a mother's day. I use the word 'reduce' as we are only celebrating the role of a mother in a woman. Yet, women have so many different aspects. Are we reducing our own talents? I know there are a lot of Indonesian women who have their achievement in social, political, or economic achievements. Ibu Sri Mulyani, Indonesian Finance Minister, is an interesting person. Despite of the Century case, her ability to go up into her position now is really amazing. I've seen a television interview where her family also present. She admitted that she need to balance the demand of her work with her time for her family. Even at the moment of one important meeting (the Century case), she was actually in a mourning condition as she knew that her mom was sick and then passed away, without the ability to be there at her last moment.

That's the risk of a working woman. To be able to balance the duty of work and the family matters. It is harder on women, especially here in Asia, where patriarchal way of life made women seen as second class citizen. We can argue that it is way the woman put herself is important. But, it is true that being a woman made the struggle become harder.

In the construction site, it was more difficult for woman (than for her fellow male co-worker) to order the male worker under her supervision to do something. Male workers tended to underestimate women.

Yet, more and more successful women appeared. If we used to hear that behind every great man there is a great woman, then perhaps it is time to consider that we also need a great man (or a great family) behind a great multitasking woman. So the man in family should also support their wife, their daughter, or their granddaughter to reach to the sky...

Once in a bus, I asked a young girl who are heading to work in a kiosk in Mangga Dua, why she had chosen to work after her senior high school and not to continue her study. She answered me, "It will be the same, don't you think? After the study I'll end up waiting for that kiosk too. So, why wasting my time?" It's not really true, there will be a different aspect if she chose to continue her study (of course financial support is needed). Yet, if I see housewives around me (including myself :)), we were going through difficult time of study only to take our post at home. Some gained her success through selling her ability to cook, some other through selling insurance or houses. This cooking expertise or marketing ability could be gained even without enduring the study. I've met a man who was my first tutor as a junior architect. He forgot me, but astonished that I became a housewife, he said: "What a waste of your long struggle of study and work..." I thought it was the colours of my life, and I feel blessed that I had those wonderful experiences...yet, somewhere inside I am still asking myself to try my best to make those experiences worth for others. The struggle to balance myself between my family life, my idealism, and my contribution to others is still going on.