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22 August 2014

Establishment of the News Agency of Timor-Leste: Challenges and Opportunities

ETLJB 22/08/2014 From: The Government of Timor-Leste Mon. 18 of August of 2014, 14:37h - This was the theme chosen by the Secretariat of State for Media (SSfM) that organised an international seminar, on August 14th, in Díli, with the presence of national and international speakers.

National guests like the former Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Mari Alkatiri and the former President of the Republic, José Ramos Horta were invited to talk about the challenges and opportunities, inherent to the establishment of a News Agency in Timor-Leste (NATL). The international speakers, of this seminar were Rahmat Nasution Dahlan, Chief Executive Officer for ANTARA (News Agency of Indonesia), Rogerio Gomes, Vice Administrator for LUSA (News Agency of Portugal) and also Antonio Sampaio, news correspondent for LUSA.

At the opening session, the Secretary of State for Media, Nélio Isaac Sacramento, highlighted the objective of this seminar: “to search for ideas in order to establish the news agency with the aim of promoting diversity of information and national cohesion in favour of the development of the nation”. Nelio Isaac Sacramento also spoke about the need for training of human resources and about the testimony of great national individualities for the important role they once had in the clandestine news agency” and, nowadays, for the way on how they encourage generations to have a critical spirit.

When speaking about the importance of a news agency in a country member of ASEAN, the Chief Executive Officer for ANTARA, Rahmat Nasution Dahlan, referred that “a news agency is part of the needs of a nation. To the Government it is a credible vehicle, to the population it is a safe source of information''.

Mari Alkatiri, on his turn, and when referring to the relationship of the agency with the national interest, spoke about the growth of democracy into consolidating the State and on how media shall know how to accompany that evolution”, not forgetting the “reinforcement of the critical sense with greater objectivity and the professionalism, which are the two major foundations to have a reliable information, helping to solve problems instead of creating them”.

About its operation, Rogerio Gomes clarified “that an agency sells services and it is for the media body to editorially treat the news, trusting that the information is accurate and objective”.

On the second half of this seminar, Jose Ramos-Horta spoke on the “importance of the news agency on the strengthening of diplomatic affairs between countries”, and the journalist correspondent for LUSA, Antonio Sampaio, spoke about some experiences as a journalist of a news agency.

The seminar was attended by journalists from various media, who actively participated on a debate by the end of each session, which aim was to contribute towards a more illuminating perspective on the importance of the establishment of a news agency in Timor-Leste. Source: http://timor-leste.gov.tl/?p=10551&lang=en&n=1

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