National Press Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: February 9, 2024

National Press Day in Indonesia National Press Day (Hari Pers Nasional) is celebrated in Indonesia on February 9 every year. It was inaugurated in 1985 to commemorate the founding anniversary of the Indonesian Journalists Association (Persatuan Wartawan Indonesia, PWI).

The Indonesian Journalists Association was established in Surakarta on February 9, 1946, amid the Indonesian National Revolution. It was the first professional journalist organization in newly independent Indonesia; the main focus of PWI was contributing to the struggle against Dutch colonialism through writing and media. The first chairman of PWI was Soemanang Soerjowinoto, a renowned Indonesian journalist and politician who is also remembered as the editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Pemandagan during the Japanese occupation and as one of the co-founders of Indonesia’s national news agency Antara.

The building in Surakarta where the Indonesian Journalists Association held its first meeting was formally converted into a national monument and museum, called the National Press Monument (Monumen Pers Nasional), in 1978. It is officially recognized as a cultural property of Indonesia. The National Press Monument has an extensive collection consisting of more than a million newspapers and magazines, as well as other exhibits and artifacts related to the history of Indonesian press. In addition to various exhibitions, the museum has a library and a multimedia room.

Thirty-nine years after the establishment of the Indonesian Journalists Association and seven years after the opening of the National Press Monument the government of Indonesia designated PWI’s founding anniversary as National Press Day. The holiday has been celebrated every year since. Like most anniversaries and professional days in Indonesia, it is a working holiday. National Press Day celebrates Indonesian journalists and other professionals working in the printed and online media and promotes high standards in journalism.

Today, there are around 100,000 journalists working for hundreds of newspapers and magazines in Indonesia: national and local, daily, weekly and monthly, in Indonesian, English, Chinese, and Japanese. Many of them have been established since the fall of Suharto in 1998, which meant the end of severe media censorship.

There are more than 50 major daily newspapers in Indonesia; most of them are published in Java. Indonesian-language daily newspapers that have the largest circulation include Kompas (“Compass”, Jakarta), Jawa Pos (“Java Post”, Subaraya), Media Indonesia (Jakarta), Sura Merdeka (“Voice of Freedom”, Semarang), Berita Buana (“Buana News”, Java), Pikiran Rakyat (“People’s Thought”, Bandung), and Sinar Indonesia Baru (“New Rays of Indonesia”, Medan).

There are also quite a lot of magazines in Indonesia, both local and Indonesian editions of international titles such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, Men’s Health, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and others. The two principal weekly news magazines in the country are Gatra and Tempo. Most of the major newspapers and magazines in Indonesia also have online versions.

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National Press Day in Indonesia, Indonesian Journalists Association, holidays in Indonesia, observances in Indonesia, professional days