In January-February 2019, ACICIS Study Indonesia was delighted to welcome a total of 23 students on our Journalism Professional Practicum (JPP). These students came to Jakarta from 12 universities: Murdoch University, RMIT University, The University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of the Sunshine Coast, University of New South Wales, Australian National University, Curtin University, The University of Queensland, University of Canberra, University of South Australia, and University of Auckland. 20 students completed the JPP with the assistance of a $3,000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant, while one student received a grant from Asia New Zealand Foundation.

JPP students undertook an academic program hosted by Atma Jaya Catholic University during the first two weeks of the program, which consisted of language classes, a series of seminars and field trips. The seminars were presented by speakers with comprehensive knowledge of journalism in Indonesia, and covered topics such as Indonesian politics, foreign correspondence, reporting on human rights and more.

During this period, the students had the opportunity to visit Metro TV for their first field trip. The students were welcomed with an introduction and video profile about Metro TV, followed by a sharing and Q&A session with Leonard Samosir, a senior news anchor, before a tour of the station’s office, studio and control room.

For their second field trip, the students visited an organisation called BGBJ (‘the seeds of Bantar Gebang’) at Bantar Gebang Landfill, the largest uncovered landfill site in Southeast Asia. BGBJ is an organisation that aims to develop a healthy and safe environment, and break the cycle of poverty for the children and people who live and work at Bantar Gebang through education and skills training. The students were welcomed by Resa Boenard, BGBJ founder, who led them on a walking tour around the landfill, recycling plant and surrounding neighbourhood. Students had the opportunity to interview the people who manage the recycling plant, as well as Resa Boenard herself. After the visit, each of the students wrote articles about BGBJ, the Bantar Gebang landfill, and the people living there.

After completing the academic program, the students undertook four weeks of professional placement at their assigned host organisations in Jakarta. ACICIS collaborated with 13 host organisations for the 2019 JPP, including The Jakarta Post, Forbes Indonesia, The Jakarta Globe, United Nations Information Centre and other media organisations. During their placements, students gained work experience under the guidance of experienced mentors, and were supervised by ACICIS Program Officer and experienced journalist Jewel Topsfield for the duration of the program.

We would like to congratulate all 23 students on their incredible work and dedication during their time on ACICIS’ Journalism Professional Practicum. We wish all students the best for the future and we look forward to having them back in Indonesia soon!