This year is going to end soon and I have been thinking that I should write about what the 2013 mean to me. Off course this year is like a turning point for me, as I got the opportunity to be a journalist in Jakarta, which I got a lot of stories to tell from that experience. Even though the job was physically challenging, I’m glad that I can overcome things I was afraid of, such as exploring the capital by myself from skyscrapers to slums. Travelling alone around Jakarta was frightening because the high number of crimes scared me and I often thought I would get robbed or killed in the middle of high school students’ brawls. However, I met many kind people during my adventure, and most of them taught me valuable life lessons, including ‘You will become a legal Jakartans if you have become a victim of pick pocketing.’ My cell phone was stolen when I took an over-loaded bus. Since then I never listen music or playing games in my cell phone when I’m taking public transportations. One lesson learned. And oh, I forget to add ‘don’t ever sleep in public transportation no matter how tired you are.’
I’d like to say that pick pocket is only a minor crime in Jakarta, because I have seen far worse. A father who raped his daughter till she dead because of sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, a son who chopped his mother’s body into pieces, or a teenager who killed his girlfriend just because he wanted to have her motorcycle in order to get another girl’s attention. I had never imagined I would be able to talk to such criminals and dig information from them. Yet I should make their stories to be interesting and easily readable.
Every crime happens for a reason, and a chance as well. After interviewed all criminals, I can conclude that they commit crimes because of economical reasons and high pressure they get from living in densely populated city.
Another experience I got from covering crime stories is we can’t judge criminals right or wrong, because sometimes they even don’t know why the police arrest them. A beautiful Taiwanese woman confessed to me that she knew nothing about the meth hidden in the soles of her shoes, which were founded by custom and excise officers, right after she first stepped into Jakarta airport. After found out that her husband was behind the drug smuggling, she was so angry.
“My husband promised me that we would get decent job in Indonesia,” she said. “I want to divorce him because he lied and I really hate illegal drugs.”
Some journalists can be so mean to the criminals. Usually after the city police had apprehended crime suspects, they would hold press conferences. All journalists can come to the conferences to see the criminals wearing orange shirts and being handcuffed. Some evidences are also displayed, such as seized money or a machete spotted with victim’s blood. Some journalists flawed crime suspects harshly during the conferences. They said bad words such as “Oh my God, this room is so hot, I wonder how hot they’ll get in hell,” or “Officer, why don’t you just shoot dead this bastard, so we can get good picture?” Usually the crime suspects would look those journalists with anger, I guess “I’ll cut your throat once I get free” was crossed their minds.
We all know that every criminal act is condemnable, but who are we to judge? Let the police and the laws do their jobs.
And that’s all I can tell you about reporting crimes, which was the most exciting experience I got this year. Hopefully I could get more excitement next year, but I need to get a new job first (which is become the top priority in my New Year’s resolution.)