Press Monument Museum, Observing the History of Indonesian Press

The National Press Monument was built around 1918 at the behest of Mangkunegara VII, Prince of Surakarta, as a gathering hall and meeting room. Citing cultural sites, this building was formerly called Societeit Sasana Soeka and was designed by Abu Kasan Atmodirono. In 1933, Sarsito Mangunkusumo and a number of other engineers met in this building and pioneered Solosche Radio Vereeniging, the first public radio operated by indigenous Indonesians. Thirteen years later, on February 9, 1946, the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) was formed in this building.

On February 9, 1956, at the ten-year celebration of PWI, renowned journalists such as Rosihan Anwar, B.M. Diah, and S. Tahsin suggested establishing a foundation that would oversee the National Press Museum. The foundation was inaugurated on May 22, 1956, and most of the museum collections were donated by Soedarjo Tjokrosisworo. The name of the National Press Monument was set in 1973 and the land was donated to the government in 1977. The museum was officially opened on February 9, 1978, after being equipped with several buildings.

The Press Monument Complex is in front of the roundabout meeting at Gajah Mada St. and Yosodipuro St., Solo. In front of the building, there is a reading board for the Solopos, Suara Merdeka and Republika newspapers which can be read for free. Entering the inside of the museum, visitors can view six dioramas that describe the development of the journalistic in the world, then Indonesia. The first diorama was the beginning of the appearance of informing in the time of the prophet. Second and third dioramas, concerning the dissemination of information in the Dutch and Japanese occupation. Furthermore, the seconds of the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Indonesia, the periods of guided democracy and liberals, the new order which continued on the freedom of the post-reform press.

In addition to dioramas, there are chest statues of ten national press figures. Shifting to the next room, there were transmitting equipment used in the farthest live broadcast in 1936, from Solo to Den Haag, Netherland. This transmitter is called Kambing (Goat) Radio because it was once hidden by RRI fighters and TNI in the Balong Village goat enclosure, Lawu slope in the Dutch military action II 1948-1949.

Another collection that attracted enough attention was Udin’s camera and equipment, the reporter of the Bernas Jogja Daily who was killed for his news. Other collections are millions of copies of magazines and newspapers from all over Indonesia. For example, the Indian Tjahaya newspaper published in 1913, the magazine Fikiran Ra’jat magazine with the editor-in-chief of Ir Soekarno, was published in 1932. Most of the conditions had been weathered by time. Therefore, the museum digitizes so that people can access it via a computer. This museum is free and is open every day from 08.00 – 15.00.