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Indonesia’s Internet News Sites Come Into Their Own

Internet news sites in Indonesia are enjoying a new level of credibility as some of the biggest names in print media venture online to take advantage of the country’s growing number of web users.

The first news sites were set up in 1995 by Kompas, Tempo and Republika.

“At the time – said Daru Priyambodo, chief editor of – going online was seen simply as a matter of keeping up with technology and not as a way of reaching new readers”.

In 1998, was launched and it become the most popular Indonesian news site. While the earlier sites merely posted what was running in the print editions of the papers, Detik pioneered a system of real-time, constantly updated news reports – a model that would later be mimicked by other news sites.

Several of these sites went under in 2002, with only the bigger and better-managed ones managing to survive. “It was then that people started seeing online media as a business field worth developing,” Priyambodo said.

As the media industry began allocating more attention and resources to the online news business, quality standards improved. “The year 2011 marked a turning point in which online media became people’s primary source of news,” said Edi Taslim, business general manager of 

Internet news is deemed trustworthy by 31 per cent of the public, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2012, second only to traditional media at 44 per cent. Official news outlets rate 23 per cent.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Post reported that the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has called on all online news media to uphold journalistic ethics to ensure accuracy in their reports.