Telum Talks To... Jonathan Pandapotan, Senior Editor,

Telum Talks To... Jonathan Pandapotan, Senior Editor,

This week, Telum caught up with a Senior Editor at, Jonathan Pandapotan, who together with Windi Wicaksono, was recently awarded the Anugerah Adinegoro 2020 (cyber media category) for COVID-19 vaccination in Indonesia report.

Could you share the stories behind the award-winning report, "Vaccination, Indonesia's momentum to rise from the COVID-19 pandemic"?
Basically, Windi Wicaksono and I ( Special Content Team) wanted to explain to readers in detail about the government's plan to vaccinate, which is a policy to reduce the chain of the spread of COVID-19.

Through this article, we also wanted to foster optimism and encourage people to recover from the pandemic, and one of ways is through the vaccination programme.

How important is the role of the media in raising public awareness of COVID-19 vaccination?
Vaccination is a vital government policy that needs to be conveyed accurately to all levels of society. The role of mass media is crucial to the success of the vaccination programme.

As the fourth pillar of democracy, the media industry must prevent disinformation, deliver accurate facts, and at the same time raise public awareness of the importance of vaccination. Media is at the forefront of education, in handling COVID-19. We must be able to drive each individual to change their behaviours in responding to this pandemic.
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How has your working life changed due to the pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all aspects of life in Indonesia, including the media and journalism sectors. During the last 10 months, practically, my work activities have changed completely.

The social restrictions (PSBB) to tackle the pandemic have forced me to get into the habit of working from home. This is something I have not experienced in my 10 years as a journalist.

How are the social restrictions (PSBB) disrupting your work?
The pandemic and PSBB have certainly disrupted the way journalists work. Interviews, press conferences, discussions, or even seminars must now be held virtually.

This new challenge requires journalists to harness the power of networking, sharpen their analysis with data, and continue to rack their brains in the midst of limited workspace. However, the basic obligation of journalists to verify is absolute and must still be carried out.

During COVID-19information and the situation are rapidly changing and there are lots of confusing stories spreading in the community, some true, some not true, how is tackling this challenge?
We have a fact-checking channel that is tasked with investigating, clarifying, and tackling hoax news circulating within the community, including about COVID-19. is also a verified media for the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) along with dozens of other mass media around the world.

Fact Check is also Facebook's official partner to eradicate hoaxes, fake news, or disinformation about COVID-19 circulating on the social media platform.

What is the biggest task for the media and communications industry in 2021?
The main task of the media industry in 2021 is to participate in fighting and eradicating the spread of hoaxes and radicalism. Both are among the real threats facing society in the midst of rapid technological advances.

The validity of information or news is a crucial factor in the spread of fake news, so the media must be the fact-checker and a more reliable source of information than social media.

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