In Indonesia, journalism is seen as a prestigious profession because it allows to be close to government officials. On the other hand, the profession does not guarantee a decent salary, as shown by a survey conducted by the Alliance of Independent Journalists in 2012. The average standard of journalists’ salaries is only slightly above the minimum wage and this has led to the practice of "envelope journalism" in Indonesia, where journalists rely on money from resourceful persons.
The professionalism in the standards of journalists also affects media professionalism. Professional media generally recruit aspiring journalists with minimum undergraduate education. The candidates to become journalists are given good training either by the media or outside the media. On the other hand unprofessional media generally do not have a standard in recruiting journalists. Journalists are not given adequate education and training on ethics. To filter professional and unprofessional journalists, the Press Council has certified some journalists. Those who have passed the exam and are declared as competent, are expected to maintain a standard in ethics, knowledge and journalistic skills. As of 2017, as many as 10,852 journalists have passed the competence test.