The Alfred Friendly Foundation has awarded the Susan Talalay Award for Outstanding Journalism to Bambang Harymurti, a 1986 Alfred Friendly Fellow and the current CEO and editor-in-chief of Tempo International Media in Indonesia.
Harymurti will receive the award during the annual benefit gala at the National Press Club in Washington on Sept. 7, an event marking the graduation of the 2018 Fellows and the 50th anniversary of Alfred Friendly’s Pulitzer Prize. Susan Talalay is a former director of Alfred Friendly Press Partners and board member of the Alfred Friendly Foundation.
Harymurti worked for Time magazine while he was an Alfred Friendly Fellow, which he calls a turning point in his career, and covered regional and international news for Tempo before becoming a leader of the weekly news magazine.
In 2004, Harymurti was found guilty of “defamation and false reporting” in a case related to the magazine’s reporting on a wealthy businessman and he sentenced to a year in prison. International press freedom organizations protested Harymutri’s trial, widely criticized as an attack on Indonesia’s news media.
When he was was jailed, Bambang told a crowd of journalists before being led to prison: “If we lack credibility or integrity, we are worthless … Don’t worry my friends. We shall continue to fight for freedom of the press.”
When the Supreme Court overturned the lower court ruling, Harymurti said, “This decision is not a personal victory but a victory for all Indonesian journalists.”
Harymurti went on to become deputy chair of Indonesia’s Press Council and remained relentless in his belief that a free press is the underpinning of democracy.
Please join us at the Alfred Friendly Benefit Gala at the National Press Club on Sept. 7. Get your ticket here.