INMA Elevate Scholar: Ramadani Saputra of Voice of America

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2022, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their third annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Ramadani Saputra, Web editor for Voice of America in Indonesia, began his work as a journalist at The Jakarta Post in December 2016.

During his stint there, Saputra was selected as the main reporter for the sports desk, allowing him to cover important events like the 2018 Asian Games, the 2018 Asian Para Games, the Philippines’ SEA Games and the 2018 Thomas and Uber Cup.

Ramadani Saputra aspires to continuously uplift the voice of the underrepresented in the newsroom.
Ramadani Saputra aspires to continuously uplift the voice of the underrepresented in the newsroom.

“Aside from covering sports, I also have an eye for other topics like gender and sexuality. This is proven by my work at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, where I wrote pieces such as LGBT tolerance and sexual frustration,” Saputra said.

In mid-2020, he was among five Jakarta Post journalists selected to develop a new multimedia team called Mojo, short for Mobile Journalism. Saputra’s task shifted from writing long articles to creating scripts and editing video to be published on the company’s social media.

“I worked for the Post until August 2021 and moved to VOA Indonesian Service in early September 2021. At VOA, I was an editor, responsible for editing general news and managing the bureau’s social media,” Saputra said. Being an editor has further sharpened his skills in writing and news judgment as he now holds the responsibility to decide which content is suitable for the Web site.

“I aspire to continuously uplift the voice of the underrepresented in the newsroom through my works. I also want to create a more inclusive newsroom not dominated by cis hetero males as it often happened in news publications in my country,” Saputra said.

Aside from that, as a former sports journalist, he said he wants to cover the Olympics at least once during his career.

Through the Elevate Scholarship programme, Saputra said he wants to, “learn how to create a more inclusive newsroom, learn how to bring up more marginalised voices without making it about ‘me,’ as journalists often forget this part.” He also wants to learn how to create a more sustainable business model for the future, as media companies continue facing challenges when it comes to finding sources of income.

Being part of a sexual minority group could help him create better newsroom conditions, Saputra said, as it will include ideas based on his own experiences that will highlight the experiences of other minorities: “Being a minority also teaches me to write with more empathy, so I will ensure that the products I make will not be harmful for [others].”

About Paula Felps

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