Indonesia media tycoon Oetama passes away at 88

Jakob Oetama (Kompas)

Jakob Oetama (Kompas)

By Peter Song
Head of Foreign Cooperation Department – AJA
Contributor to AsiaN

SEOUL: Jakob Oetama, the owner of Indonesia’s largest media group “Kompas Gramedia” and the founder of the daily newspaper “Kompas Daily,” passed away on September 9. He was 18 days short of turning 89 on September 27.

In his early career, he worked as a teacher in Mardiyuwana Junior High School in West Java and in Van Lith Junior High School in Jakarta. He studied journalism in Jakarta and graduated in 1959.

During his life, Oetama served as president of Kompas Gramedia which he co-founded founded in 1963 with his partner PK Ojong, was on the board of trustees of the Indonesian Journalists Association, advisor to the ASEAN Journalists Federation and senior reporter. The Compass Gramedia Group he founded is considered one of the most influential media groups in Indonesia.

Oetama, who had been in the media field since 1956, made great contributions to the development of the Indonesian media and was awarded the Mahaputra Utama Medal from the Indonesian government in 1973. He also received an Honoris Causa in communication from Gajah Mada University in 2003.

He was a major supporter of the arts and established museums and art galleries in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali.

Oetama will be buried at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Thursday, September 10. The funeral will be posted online on

Tributes to the deceased have poured from various institutions and people.

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