Fellow Since 2001
Lembaga Konsumen Media
This profile was prepared when Sirikit Syah was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
To usher in a new era of openness and freedom of the press, Sirikit is helping journalists and the public understand the role and responsibilities of the media in a democracy. She sees that if democracy in Indonesia is going to work, there must be information; further, the information must be reliable and, to the extent that it's possible, unbiased. Through a popular newsletter, a radio program, and a civic education effort, she brings to public attention the responsibilities of the media, and the public's responsibility to keep journalists on track. Her newsletter, Media Watch, is intended to encourage accountability on the part of journalists during this critical period in Indonesia's formation as a democracy. A journalist herself, she also wants to help her peers develop a professional identity that is rooted in high standards of reporting and an attention to a professional code of ethics. Free from strict government control, journalists will be accountable to themselves as a professional body and, thanks to Sirikit's growing media watch efforts, to the public.