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Mission Journal: Window of opportunity to advance press freedom in Indonesia

Excerpt from an 11 December 2014 CPJ Blog post by Sumit Galhotra, CPJ Asia Program Research Associate.

A sense of optimism seems to be filling the streets of Jakarta after the election of President Joko Widodo, who took office a few weeks ago. Against this backdrop of hope, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined other press freedom and freedom of expression groups for a series of meetings in Indonesia's capital and Bali last week to meet journalists, media advocates, and government ministers.

Widodo, whose election win was described as the "improbable ascent from child of the slums to leader of the world's fourth-most populous nation" by The New York Times, has raised expectations among many that Indonesia will head in a positive direction. Before taking office, he pledged to allow international journalists and organizations access to Papua and West Papua, where there has been a low-level insurgency against Indonesian rule, according to the Jakarta Post.

However during the mission, conversations with media groups and ministers made it clear that problems continue for Indonesia's journalists, despite significant progress made since the end of Suharto's authoritarian 32-year rule in 1998.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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