The figure of Najwa Shihab seems to be a podium of trust of Indonesian’s people to verify political information. She looks undefiled, critical, decisive, and bewitch. However, her action does not merely connect the nation and state regulation.
She initiated her career as a journalist when she first interned at RCTI in 1999, before she finally moved to Metro TV. Apart from the fact that she was the second daughter of Quraisy Shihab, the religion minister of the era of the Development Cabinet VII, Najwa is firm in doing her role without a slight of nepotism. A number of awards have been received for 17 years of her contribution in the world of journalism. Some of the awards came from Central PWI and PWI Jaya in 2005 for her reports from Aceh when tsunami hit the region in December 2004. Her news coverage and report were considered to take parts in wide spreading people’s concern and empathy towards the humanitarian tragedy. Then, she was selected as the best Metro TV journalist in 2006 and nominated for the best News Reader of Panasonic Awards. International recognition towards her professionalism came in 2007 as she was nominated in top 5 Asian Television Awards for Best Current Affairs/ Talkshow Presenter category. “I think the law perspective is very important in our country. Therefore, my education background in law not only helps to report events in the whole frame, but also prepare me to analyze the contexts more broadly. Journalism itself is a tool to give an understanding of law to the public. Many cases in laws have to be framed properly and not only from its sensational side. I’m glad that my background in law really helps me to formulate it all.”
Receiving so many justifications makes her sure to finally stand steadily on the stage of Mata Najwa, a Prime Time program she created, involving herself from upstream to downstream. She went down directly as a program owner, producer, manager, and host all at once. Even she determines the variations of choice of clothing styles that she will wear on the podium. “I’m now no longer on Metro TV, but I responsible entirely for Mata Najwa. Then, currently I’m also involved in other tasks outside,” She describes her activities these days that become her daily routines.
“Involved in other tasks” that she meant refers to her activity in releasing a book Catatan Najwa successfully. The book is a collection of narration of each episode in Mata Najwa. It is expected to be a collection of small historical records that occur in this country. So far there are 400 scripts that will be divided into first, second book, and so on. “Thank God this book got positive response from the public,” said Najwa with a firm smile.
In addition, in the past year, she was also successfully selected by the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia as the Reading Ambassador of Indonesia. She beat other hundreds candidates proposed by community. This a medium of her love impingement to books. Talking from big cities to remote areas of the country, she actively involved in a campaign to improve the nation’s literacy rate, particularly among young generation. It is a big challenge she really enjoy. She also becomes a Moving Library Ambassador that has the same mission in different way, which is to build moving libraries from one region to others using simple mediums in order to connect the literacy needs, for example using a meatball cart that also provides books, horses, horse-drawn cart, and so on. “The task of the Reading Ambassador is in five years, similar to President. So, until the year of 2020, I will organize an easier access to books in various regions in Indonesia.”
Do not forget that behind the dazzled television studio, the noisy of political argument, and the charm that captivated when she helps the children to understand literacy with the support of books, Najwa is still a wife that go home and obey her beloved husband. She is also a mother who warms the soul of her only child. No matter how busy her day, how bright her glare she shines today, home is her true stage.