The Jakarta Post considers layoffs amid pandemic struggle

JAKARTA (AP) – Indonesia’s leading English-language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is considering laying off its staff as it struggles with the pandemic, a spokesperson for the publication’s owner said yesterday.

Taufiq Rahman, the spokesperson of PT Bina Media Tenggara, the publication’s owner, said the company is still deciding how many of its 215 employees will be laid off as part of the company’s restructuring. News of the plan spread after minutes of a meeting of the newspaper’s Employee Council and Board of Directors was shared through social media.

Those notes said the company would reduce its staff to only 50 to 60 workers in both its editorial and non-editorial divisions.

Like many newspapers, The Jakarta Post was struggling financially before the pandemic hit.
Founded in 1983, it has been Indonesia’s main English-language daily newspaper for years.

It has won numerous awards, including most recently from the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), which has awarded it its 2020 award for Public Service Journalism for a collaborative project with, VICE Indonesia and BBC Indonesia about the problem of assaults at universities in Indonesia.

“The circulation of our paper is decreasing, regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that stopped the international and domestic flight and tourism industry,” the newspaper said in a statement.

“But what we printed on The Jakarta Post pages has become the main reference for decision makers, intellectuals and influential figures,” it said.

The Jakarta Post newspaper office building in Jakarta. PHOTO: AP