Wednesday, February 9, 2011

English Newspapers in Jakarta

It’s about two months ago, when I reached Jakarta, after freshly coming back from Bahrain, I wanted to read The Jakarta Post. I told myself, ‘Hmm, how are you Jakarta Post, long time not reading you?”

So, I decided to pass by a small bookstore to get the newspaper, and I was surprised knowing the answer from the storekeeper that “The Jakarta Post has no longer been published”. I asked, “Since when?” The storekeeper didn’t reply but offered me a substitute. “Here you go, The Jakarta Post has become The Jakarta Globe. It’s the same,” he said while picking a totally new-look newspaper.

I grabbed the paper and paid. I didn’t need to ask why although I really wanted to know what the reasons were. Why the Jakarta Post changed the name? After reading and learning the layout, I said, “Wow, it’s a big change.”

A week later, I realized the storekeeper gave me wrong information. I visited a different book store wanting to buy Jakarta Globe and the seller said, “We don’t have it but we have The Jakarta Post.

“What? I thought The Jakarta Post has no longer published?” I asked myself.

Apparently, the Jakarta Post still exists and never been replaced by or changed the name to be Jakarta Globe.

That’s the reason why I write this posting. I want to give you information about English newspapers you can find in Jakarta. If you are new in the town then the following information might be useful for you.

The Jakarta Post
Perhaps, this is the oldest English Daily Newspaper in Indonesia. The publisher claimed it has been in the market since 1983. With 28 to 32 pages, you can find it in major bookstores like Gramedia and Gunung Agung as well as in most starred hotels and luxury apartments in the capital.

The newspaper is divided into two or sometimes three bindings, main, business and lifestyle. It normally has various sections such as; headlines, national, archipelago, opinion, readers’ forum, city, world, photo gallery, business, sports and a supplement titled “International Herald Tribune”.

Priced at Rp.6,500,- per copy, this newspaper claims to have the largest circulation in it’s class. I like reading the paper because it has comprehensive reports and particularly when I want to know the latest national political situation as well as business news. You don’t need to worry about International news, since the paper is associated with New York Times and offers its global edition “International Herald Tribune” as an insert/supplement.

My only personal comment; Jakarta Post is a very serious reading, it’s kind of Kompas in English format. The Jakarta Post issues Sunday Post published every Sunday morning.

FACT: The Jakarta Post, Jl. Palmerah Barat 142-143, Jakarta 10270. Phone +62 (21) 5300476. Editor in Chief; Meidyatama Suryodiningrat. Published by PT Bina Media Tenggara. Email: Website:

Sunday Post
It is The Jakarta Post’s Sunday edition. It has only 8 pages but covers additional 2 bundles of supplement focused in lifestyle. Although it is smaller in size, each bundle has 16 pages featuring lifestyle, fashion, entertainments (music, movies), profile, hobbies, leisure, food, kids, comics & games and schedules of tv channels. Whilst, the main 8-pages bundle features front page headline, news, focus issue, opinion, editorials, reportage, and sport.

When I read Sunday Post, I feel that I enjoy reading Jakarta Post in a soft way. Most of the reports are feature news or soft news while its straight news is also written in a certain way that makes it became more timeless story, more casual. If you don’t like reading serious news, then I suggest reading this paper. Check it out at

Jakarta Globe
Jakarta Globe is divided into three bindings; Headline, Life & Time and Business with total up to 28 pages and sometimes I find additional 12 pages of supplement inserted on Friday issue.

The main bundle, most of the time, has 5 sections; politics and law, media, international, opinion & letters and My Jakarta, while Life & Times is filled with 100% feature news which is split into pages named people, eyewitness, fresh pastimes, city beat cuisine and time out. The last bundle is divided into several pages focuses in business, international business, the classifieds and sports.

I like reading Jakarta Globe because the way it is written is more relax. The layout is more attractive and more casual compared with The Jakarta Post. I think the lifestyle section (Life & Time) is so far the best among the rest. I can find more varieties of light topics to discuss. There are more unique feature stories in the newspaper.

The newspaper is printed in Jakarta and distributed in Central and greater Jakarta, Medan, Balikpapan, Bali, Pekanbaru and Surabaya. Retail price of the paper is slightly higher which is Rp.8,500,- per copy.

FACT: Main office is located in Kawasan Bisnis Granadha, Plaza Semanggi 9th Floor, Jl. Sudirman Kav. 50, Karet Semanggi, Jakarta 12930. President & Editor in Chief Theo L. Sambuaga. Published by PT. Jakarta Globe Media, phone +62 (21) 2553 5053. Email: Website:

The Straits Times (Indonesian Edition)
The Straits Times is originally from Singapore. It is a Singapore Press Holding Publication, the most widely-read English daily in the country. I knew this paper since 2001 when I was waiter in WYCA Fort Canning Lodge, Singapore.

The newspaper has 32 pages grouped in 2 bundle; main and money. The main bundle has several sections such as Prime-news, World-news and Review & Forum. The other bundle consists of section like Money, Home, Review-insight, Sport, Saturday, Science, and Life.

If you have lived in Singapore and used to reading Singaporean’s publication, then I am sure you will enjoy reading this newspaper. Although labeled with “Indonesian Edition” printed right on the front page, the content of news about Indonesia is very less. For example, on Saturday issue, February 5th, 2011, out of 74 articles I found only one story about Indonesia written by Indonesian correspondent Wahyu Soeriaatmadja. It means, 99,9% of the stories are International or regional coverage.

My only suggestion; if you want to read more information about international news and especially what’s hot around Asia Pacific, then the Straits Times will be the right choice.

FACT: The Straits Times Indonesian Edition is published in partnership with the Jakarta Globe. Address; Aryaduta Suites Hotel, tower A 1st & 2nd floor, Garnisun Dalam No.8 Karet Semanggi, Jakarta 12930. Phone +62 21 2553 5055. Editor in Chief Patrick Daniel.