Misuse of Media and Publicity
Marissa L Nasution
Since I work in the media, I am confronted with all kinds of news every day. So, for the last seven months, the media has been covering the disappearance of this little 17-year-old sinetron starlet. She ran away from home, twice, and was found just recently in a government building. Many different parties were involved in the search for this little girl, including child protection services, all kinds of lawyers, etc.
What troubled me the most, was the fact that I had to present a video tape of an Indonesian minister saying: “We can make her an icon for today’s youngsters.”
Hold on a second. This little girl ran away from home — apparently she wanted to get married to her boyfriend and her mother didn’t let her — so she disappeared for months and asked child protection services to protect her.
Of course, as outsiders, we don’t know the whole story. But here is the point. The media has been covering this whole story for months and after the “rescue” of the little girl, all she and her family can say is, “Oh, we all learned from this incident.”
The family and the different parties involved have all been looking for media attention since the start. Now those people can’t make a real statement about what happened throughout all those months?
Why is it so difficult to tell the truth? And now there is a minister saying that she should be an icon? From the very bottom of my heart, I disagree. I may not know the whole story, but I know as much as the viewers do. If there are children out there who are told that this little girl should be seen as an icon, I truly disagree and I am worried about the sincerity and honesty of the government itself.
We should all reflect on our own values. Family will always be family. If a rush of teenage hormones causes problems, get over it without involving all of Indonesia and setting a bad example. That is the responsibility of a person who works in the entertainment business — set a good example and not a shady one like this little girl. The misuse of media and publicity is a common disease in this country.
“Pembohongan Publik,” isn’t that what they say? But they also say, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”