Legendary Newspapers Denny JA Collections
De Sumatra Post - Medan
by JJ Rizal
This newspaper was published in 1899 by J. Hallerman. It is published twice a week. J. Hallerman is a printing businessman of German descent who wants to try his luck in Deli, North Sumatra. This newspaper was initially led by the legal scholar J. van den Brand who was later replaced by Karel Wijnbrandt. In 1903, the name A.J.C.M. Tervooren. This newspaper is headed by AJ Livegoed and JH Ruphan is the editor. The newspaper's longest-serving editor-in-chief is Vierhout.
Although De Sumatra Post is published as a daily with 1 pages, this newspaper does not contain much local news. Most of the pages are for news and developments in Europe, such as the Dreyfus case (a controversial case in France, that inspired Theodorl Herzl to initiate Zionist movement). De Sumatra Post is often referred to as the “Europe Post” which was printed in Sumatra. There, sometimes also appears news about America. In short, this newspaper is a white newspaper. Even if there is local news published there, it will be limited to news about Dutch residents. This “white” newspaper took a lot of advertising, almost on par with the older Deli Courant. It can be said that 60-70% of the cost of publishing De Sumatra Post is saved by advertising.
As a "white" newspaper for plantation owners, its editors are no doubt concerned about the development of the indigenous movement, especially the Sarikat Islam (one of the first Indonesian nationalism movement founded by later National Hero, Hajji Omar Said Tjokroaminoto. Sukarno and many others pioneer of Indonesian national movement during Dutch Colonial era was member of Sarikat Islam), which began to enter Deli in 1913. At this point, Sarikat Islam has become the scapegoat for the plantation coolies who like to fight and stir up violence. Solidarity between coolies, as reflected in their news: “De Aanslagen op Assistenten. De Sjarikat Islam" (The Assaults on Assistants. The Sarikat Islam). However, there was also a story in the De Sumatra Post about a driver who hit a Dutch notary to death, but was released because Raad van Justitie (Council of justice) considered him innocent. A picture of law above power and social class. It's a shame it's only that far, while the fate of the contract coolies who are languishing unbelievably doesn't get any news.
De Sumatra Post ceased publication in 1950 like other old Dutch-language newspapers, due to the nationalization policy of foreign companies.