Chasing Snow in the Winter Wonderland

Karen is a consultant in Maverick, who has been working for almost three years. She has been handling clients from different industries, including Microsoft and Sennheiser. Karen is a big fan of the K-Pop culture and sceneries. In December 2016, she took her Personal Development Fund to visit South Korea, the country that she has been dreaming of. This is her journey.

Living in the hustle and bustle of the capital city for almost a quarter of a century, I had been aiming to spending some of my time off in a much more tranquil place. A place where I can soothe my mind and gratefully rejoice the magnificence of nature. I usually relish this dream by watching movies at times, movies with beautiful nature as the setting.

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Building and Maintaining Spokesperson Credibility

(For Indonesian, click here)

Mika Brzezinski, the host of MSNBC’s popular morning program ‘Morning Joe’, has announced earlier this week that Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to President Donald Trump, will be indefinitely blacklisted from appearing on their show due to her overall lack of credibility. Conway has been repeatedly giving statements at odds with the White House, which put her credibility in doubt.

MSNBC is the second TV station to have blacklisted Conway. Two weeks earlier, CNN decided not to invite Conway to their ‘State of the Union’ as people began to doubt her credibility.

Conway is no rookie in US politics and has built herself a good reputation. During the U.S. Presidential campaign a few months ago, Conway acted as Campaign Manager for Trump, and after Trump was elected, Conway was appointed Presidential Counselor. The question is, why does her credibility diminish as time goes by?

In several interviews with the media, Conway used the term ‘false news’ and ‘alternative facts’ to obscure the facts that happened. The climax occurred on February 8, 2017, when she made a sales pitch for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line on live television.

Conway’s statement instantly became a hot topic for the Democrats, as well as for Republicans, the party that brought Donald Trump to presidency. Both agreed that Conway mishandled her role as counselor to the president, undermining her credibility in the eyes of the media.

As such, let us take a look to our media in Indonesia. Have they ever blacklisted any speaker?

Unlike the US media that openly ban speakers, Indonesian media also equipped themselves with a list of people who are not welcomed on their shows, yet they keep it private.

Kompas TV Economics Senior Producer, Bima Marzuki, admitted Kompas TV has list of speakers who will not be invited to their programs. The list, however, is not available for public and remains confidential to Kompas TV editors only. In selecting sources for an interview, Kompas TV always considers the credibility of the source, data accuracy, and any conflict of interest that such sources possess. If these are not met, then the editor has the right to call it off.

Nonetheless, Bima did not dismiss the fact that there are certain speakers who are nothing but empty kegs, but are invited anyway because their controversialness is good for high rating. “As long as the source is not deceitful and can keep the audience entertained,” said Bima to Maverick.

In line with Bima, Ivan Firmansyah, TV One Assignment Coordinator News Gathering Jakarta, expressed his TV station once blacklisted sources for their love of giving out-of-context statements. Regardless, to respect and maintain good relationship with those speakers, they did not publish this.

According to him, to be a credible source, especially as an observer, there are two minimum criteria that must be met, which are the ability to present valid data research and information that are new to the public. Should there be a dialogue during the show, the source must be able to bring new facts to the table that can be justified, not only reiterating comments from the existing news.

Credibility and level of confidence are pivotal in business, thus, any stakeholder of an organization must master how to manage them. This is why media and spokesperson trainings are needed by spokespersons of any organization to build strong engagement with the public or media.

Membangun dan Mempertahankan Kredibilitas Narasumber

(Untuk versi Bahasa Inggris, klik di sini)

“Morning Joe”, acara talkshow populer di MSNBC minggu ini melalui hostnya, Mika Brzezinski mengumumkan memasukkan Kellyanne Conway ke dalam daftar hitam dan tidak akan mengundang lagi penasihat utama Donald Trump tersebut ke dalam acaranya karena tidak kredibel. Conway berkali-kali memberikan pernyataan yang bertentangan dengan Gedung Putih, yang membuat kredibilitasnya diragukan.

MSNBC merupakan stasiun TV kedua yang memasukkan Conway ke dalam daftar hitam. Dua minggu sebelumnya, CNN memutuskan untuk tidak mengundang Conway ke acara State of the Union karena kredibilitasnya yang mulai diragukan.

Conway bukanlah orang baru dalam politik Amerika Serikat dan memiliki reputasi yang baik. Dalam masa kampanye presiden AS beberapa bulan lalu, Conway bertindak sebagai manajer kampanye Trump, dan setelah Trump terpilih Conway diangkat sebagai penasihat presiden. Lalu kenapa kredibilitas Conway bisa turun?

Dalam beberapa kesempatan wawancara dengan media, Conway selalu menggunakan istilah “berita palsu” dan “fakta alternatif” untuk mengaburkan fakta yang terjadi. Puncaknya, pada 8 Februari 2017 lalu Conway melakukan endorsement untuk merk baju “IvankaTrump” yang dimiliki oleh putri Donald Trump, dalam suatu wawancara televisi yang disiarkan langsung.

Pernyataan Conway langsung menjadi pembicaraan hangat di Partai Demokrat dan Partai Republik, partai yang mengusung Donald Trump menjadi presiden, yang kompak menyatakan Conway telah melanggar batas sebagai penasihat presiden. Hal ini, meruntuhkan kredibilitas Conway di mata media.

Bagaimana dengan media di Indonesia? Apakah pernah memasukkan narasumber ke dalam daftar hitam? Walaupun tidak seperti media Amerika Serikat yang secara terbuka menyatakan memasukkan narasumber ke daftar hitam, namun sebenarnya setiap media mempunyai daftar orang-orang yang tidak akan diundang ataupun dijadikan narasumber.

Produser Senior Ekonomi Kompas TV, Bima Marzuki, mengatakan Kompas TV mempunyai daftar hitam narasumber yang tidak akan diundang ataupun diwawancarai, namun daftar tersebut tidak untuk dipublikasikan dan menjadi rahasia dapur redaksi Kompas TV. Dalam memilih narasumber untuk diwawancara, Kompas TV selalu mempertimbangkan kredibilitas narasumber, akurasi data, dan ada tidaknya konflik kepentingan pada narasumber tersebut. Kalau hal itu tidak terpenuhi, maka redaksi punya hak untuk tidak lagi mewawancarai narasumber.

Namun Bima tidak menampik, ada beberapa narasumber yang “tidak ada isinya” tapi karena kontroversial tetap diundang karena pertimbangan rating televisi. “Selama narasumber tidak melakukan kebohongan dan menarik bagi penonton,” kata Bima kepada Maverick.

Senada dengan Bima, Ivan Firmansyah, Koordinator liputan news gathering Jakarta TV One, menyatakan stasiun TV-nya pernah memasukkan narasumber ke daftar hitam karena sering memberikan pernyataan tidak sesuai dengan konteks. Namun, untuk menghormati dan menjaga hubungan dengan narasumber, mereka tidak mempublikasikannya.

Menurutnya, untuk menjadi narasumber, khususnya dari kalangan pengamat, ada dua kriteria minimum yang harus dipenuhi, yaitu data penelitian yang valid dan informasi yang belum diketahui oleh publik. Jika terjadi dialog di dalam televisi, narasumber dapat memunculkan fakta-fakta baru yang dapat dipertanggungjawabkan, bukan hanya komentar dari pemberitaan media.’

Kredibilitas dan tingkat kepercayaan merupakan dua hal penting dalam melakukan bisnis dan para eksekutif harus menguasainya. Inilah mengapa pelatihan media dan jurubicara (spokesperson) diperlukan oleh jurubicara perusahaan-perusahaan untuk menjalin engagement dengan publik ataupun media.

 

Pers Indonesia di Era Kabar Bohong

Hoax atau kabar bohong makin merajalela. Tak hanya beredar di media sosial, wabah hoax bahkan sudah menjangkiti media-media yang dulunya dikenal sebagai produk jurnalistik andal dan tepercaya. Bukan hanya sekali dua kali media di Indonesia menerbitkan kabar bohong yang sumbernya dari situs parodi atau palsu.

Bagaimana pers harus bersikap? Fenomena hoax merupakan salah satu isu yang mengemuka pada Hari Pers Nasional (HPN), 9 Februari 2017. Perayaan puncak hari bersejarah ini dilakukan di Ambon dan dihadiri oleh Presiden Joko Widodo.

Hoax atau kabar bohong sebenarnya bukan isu baru, tetapi belakangan ini mencuat lagi karena dua hal, panasnya suhu politik dan popularitas media sosial. Di ranah politik, hoax dipakai sebagai bahan kampanye para kandidat untuk menjatuhkan lawannya. Praktik ini dimulai pada masa pemilihan presiden 2014 dan berlanjut di masa pemilihan kepala daerah serentak. Pilkada DKI Jakarta adalah salah satu perhelatan politik yang sangat diwarnai oleh peredaran hoax tentang ketiga pasangan calon.

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Media sosial, seperti Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, merupakan kanal informasi yang menjadi lahan subur merebaknya kabar bohong. Hoax beredar dari satu laman ke laman lain, dari satu media ke media lain, dari satu ruang obrolan digital ke ruang grup digital lainnya.

Berita bohong tentu tak boleh dibiarkan terus berkeliaran dan dikonsumsi publik karena berpotensi memicu gejolak sosial dan konflik horisontal. Banyak orang dan organisasi yang juga dirugikan karena dihajar berita bohong. Maraknya hoax bahkan telah mengurangi kepercayaan publik terhadap pers.

Peran pers yang kredibel dan bertanggung jawab sangat dibutuhkan dalam situasi seperti sekarang. Ini adalah momentum yang tepat bagi pers untuk merebut kembali kepercayaan masyarakat. Pers harus mampu meluruskan hal yang bengkok, menjernihkan kekeruhan yang terjadi di media sosial, dan tidak lantas ikut larut dan malah memungut isu-isu yang belum terverifikasi di media sosial sebagai bahan berita. Pers wajib tetap menjunjung tinggi etika jurnalistik, faktualitas, objektivitas, dan disiplin melakukan verifikasi.

 

Selamat Hari Pers Nasional.

Until I see you again, Korea

Khalda is an account coordinator in Maverick, who has been working for more than a year. In December 2016, she took her Personal Development Fund (PDF) to visit a country that has always been her desired destination – South Korea. This is her story.

South Korea is a top destination listed by many travel sites, from Lonely Planet to CNN Travel. Its abundant charms have made this country too irresistible to be ignored. Korean culture has also made its way worldwide and is especially popular with the younger population who seem engrossed with K-Pop,K-Drama, K-Food, or K-Beauty.

For me, like many who knew what Korean Full House is, my first encounter with Korean culture is from its drama series. Somehow, they are really good at portraying and making their culture, top destinations, and food really appealing through their TV programs. A shot of Korean Ramyeon being eaten by an actor, or people making Kimchi on a winter day in the beautiful Hanok village, is enough to make us wonder “how great it is to live there”.

These instruments of “cultural diplomacy” finally got me hooked. One day, after way too much time spent watching Korean drama, my spontaneous nature suddenly kicked in. I searched for a winter flight to Seoul and started to make two lists: one of places I want to visit and another of foods I want to eat. This is going to be my second time going abroad alone, and I promised myself to enjoy it to the fullest.

Maverick had helped me keep that promise. With Maverick’s PDF – Personal Development Fund, I was able to make this Korea trip happen. As the name suggests the fund is set aside for Maverick’s employees to travel to new places, try something new, learn something new so that they can develop themselves as human beings. I’ve seen how my colleagues used their PDFs, and I’ve seen how taking a trip made them feel refreshed or how enrolling in a course gave them new skills. And now I have the opportunity to tap on the fund.

K-Culture

One activity that I had on my list is going to a Korean sauna, known as jjimjilbang. It was a really unique experience. I thought all the readings and TV shows have prepared me for what I’m going to see and experience at a jjimjilbang, but I was really caught by surprise.

I went to a famous jjimjilbang in Seoul with a friend that I met in my hostel. We paid our entrance fee and went our separate ways to the changing room. What I saw next still shocked me until this day. I saw naked women casually walking around the room, drying their hair, putting on make-up, or even casually chatting with a friend.

Thanks to the Internet, I already knew that I will see naked women at some point. It’s a sauna and public bath after all. But I was not prepared to see them casually doing things without a single stitch on! I was surprised and flustered. I did not know what to do, should I try to “blend with the locals” in the public bath (like how some well adjusted foreigners did), or keep my covers and go straight to the sauna?

That was the moment I remembered how I promised to enjoy this trip to the fullest. So I tried the public bath, local style. And I’m glad that I did. The public bath refreshed me after a long flight. I also tried their various saunas, which are awesome! The saunas ranged from super cold, just cool, medium hot, to super hot. My favorite is the Red Clay sauna. It was hot enough to make you sweat in a good way, but not too hot to burn you.

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I also went to several beautiful places in Korea. I visited Mount Seorak, a well-known hiking spot covered with snow. Coming from a tropical country, I was really excited to see snow, which was also everywhere when I went to Gangwon-do to visit the Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm. The weather was great so the winter view from the hill was stunning.

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Other beautiful places that I visited were Nami Island, Korea Folk Village, and Morning Calm Arboretum. The arboretum was exceptionally beautiful because all the trees had shed their leaves for winter and the staff there has decorated them with various lights. When the sun goes down, the staff turned the lights on. The lights, the decorations, and the snow created an amazing view for us to gaze upon. Everybody wanted to take photos of every corner, so the place was packed, but this is still a must visit destination if you come to South Korea in the winter.

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K-Food

The thing that made me most excited about coming to Korea is the food. I know there are a lot of Korean restaurants in Jakarta, but I wanted to taste the original, the true taste of Korean cuisine, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.

From street foods like tteokbokki, eomuk, and bungeoppang to local delights such as kalguksu, samgyetang, and chimaek, they are all awesome. They all have this balanced flavor in their dish, a taste of sweet, spicy, bitterness, and savory. It’s enough to make my palate dance every time I eat those. Oh, and don’t get me started on the kimchi. I love their radish kimchi that’s very hard to find in Indonesia.

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And the verdict is?

My 10-day trip to South Korea was definitely one of the best trips I’ve had so far. I did keep my promise until the end; I enjoyed every single moment to the fullest. I ate and explored the beautiful South Korea, met a lot of nice people along the way, communicated with the locals (with my broken Korean and ability to read hangul), and had a great time along the way. I will definitely be back for a second time, and even a third time, given the chance.

 

The experience I got from the trip was priceless and I will always thankful for the PDF program that enables me to have this amazing trip.

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