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Running A Media Enterprise without Opposition

Running A Media Enterprise without Opposition


Long ago, this Magelang-born man once wanted to be a teacher. That dream was granted after graduated from high school (Seminari). He was once a junior high school teacher for a year on Mardiyuwana JHS (Cipanas, West Java) and Van Lith JHS Jakarta. But a call of being a journalist brought him to another life path. He continued his study majoring in Journalistic in Perguruan Tinggi Publisistik Jakarta and majoring in Publication in FISIPOL Gadjah Mada University.

For him, a profession in journalistic is not so different than a teacher. And then he met PK Ojong and established Kompas. Kompas then raised and being a well-known company as we know now. On his senior age, he is also still active as a coach of Central Board PWI and Penasihat Konfederasi Wartawan ASEAN.

On the beginning of his journalistic career, he became a journalist in Penabur Weekly Magazine, an education media. His career started to rise when he met PK Ojong and published Intisari magazine. After this magazine got public’s approval, he made Kompas daily newspaper on June 28th 1965, again with PK Ojong. Under his lead, Kompas was growing rapidly, conquering the national newspaper sales with the biggest amount of copies. The readers of this magazine reached 2.25 million of people in around Indonesia. Kompas was twice prohibited to be published on October 2nd 1965 (because of the G3OS incident) and on January 21st 1978 (the Malari incident).

The success key between Jakob Oetama and his Kompas lies in his idealism, hard work, and innovation. “Because we believe that with that media, life, knowledge, culture, civilization, and love should be sounded and documented. And that spirit should exist from now on to whenever,” said Jakob. With Kompas, he did a lot of innovations which opened a new horizon to Indonesian press. He gave additional colors to Kompas, such as Kompas.com, Kompasiana, Kompas for iPad, and many more.

Jakob Oetama and Kompas tend to be “friend” with regime. In New Order era, he was told to be close to Harmoko, the Minister of Information. Facing political things, he tend to choose a secure way so Kompas can still exist on the dark side of press in New Order era, because he often compromised with the policy. A peace and graceful journalism, said him. Because of the peace journalism, Kompas can be a sustainable newspaper and exist until now.

A peace journalism was a creation of new journalism culture, which could make press survived in the middle of authoritarian political configuration. Jakob was seen as showing that journalism mission is not only to give information to readers, but the most important thing is to teach and brighten the conscience of nation. This matches the Kompas tagline, “Amanat Hati Nurani Rakyat”, which means the message from nation’s conscience and shown under the Kompas logo.

Jakob also sparks about “meaning journalism” which tries to bring readers’ consciousness of how the nation should erase primordial values, have ethic and moral democracy, also justice to live in this nation. Now, Jakob Oetama is already a well-known public figure with his modest personality.