18 March 2009

Commission of Legislation for Social Communication (KOLKOS) Submission to the East Timor National Parliament on Draft Media Law

Legislation committee for social communication Rua Mercado Merkadu Tais Colmera Dili-Timor Leste Mob. +670 735 8508 Subject: Important points for social communication law

Your Excellency
President of commission A
National Parliament of East Timor
in Dili

With an open hearted, the Commission of legislation for Social Communication (KOLKOS) inform the president of Commission A of the national parliament of Timor Leste some important ideas from journalists in Timor Leste to be used as materials for social commission law.

These important ideas we gathered from the outcome of mini and national workshop conducted with journalists about social communication law. This material is just an initial and does not complete yet. KOLKOS is still prepare the ideas and will shortly present them formally to the national parliament.

KOLKOS expects that this material will be the base for Commission A to prepare social communication law.

Thank you!

Dili, August, 11th, 2008

Ótelio Óte
Head of the commission

Legislation committee for social communication
Rua Mercado Merkadu Tais, Colmera, Dili-Timor Leste Mob. +670 735 8508

The important points for social communication law


1. Journalists are those who work in media, both electronic and print whether in national or international level.
2. The core work of journalists is to look for, gather, edit and publish the information through media.
3. Anyone can be journalist.
4. Journalists are the ears and mouth of the people.
5. Journalists shall not get license from the government.
6. Accreditation from press council is needed to become a journalist.
7. To be a journalist, the person should have had maximum 6 months of working experience in media.
8. Journalists shall have identity card from media or press council.
9. Journalists shall respect code of ethics of journalist.
10. Journalists will decide the code of ethics by themselves.
11. Code of ethics does not need to be put in social communication law.
12. Journalists shall not get any criminal sentence from the court when they do a mistake while doing profession or not following journalism code of ethics.
13. Civilian sentence should be seen according to the potential mistakes/error, capacity and condition of the journalists or each media.
14. Journalists are free to enter or establish organization of their profession.
15. Journalists will lose their profession if they do not follow the journalism code of ethics.

Media (Social Communication)

1. Media is electronic media, press, website, blog or any others where there are journalist (s), legal structure and has organization’s rules and disseminates information to public.
2. Any individual person, group or institution can freely establish media based on article 41 RDTL’s constitution.
3. All media shall register in press council.
4. Press council is the one that decide the requirements and the process of registration.
5. Media shall work according to journalism role which are informing, educating, controlling and entertaining public through its publication.
6. Media is an important information bridge between the people and the leaders of the country and is an important democracy pillar in the country.
7. Community radio stations are also included in media.
8. Media does not need license from the government.
9. Media shall register to Press council.
10. Media should be functioned according to journalism codes of ethics.
11. Media should control its staff in order that they can work professionally.
12. Media has obligation to correct errors/mistakes they do.
13. To develop media in a better way in this country, media should get any helps from the government in any period.
14. The mechanism to get this help (mentioned above) should be given to media through Press Council to decide according to the criteria.
15. There shall not any monopoly from the government or rich people to media.

Press freedom

1. Press freedom is the basic freedom to journalists in this democratic country, to facilitate voice of the people and publish ideas, opinions, and critics about their life now and in the future in the country.
2. Press freedom includes freedom to access for information, write, speak, take photos and publication. There shall not any intervention from the government, politicians, economists or anyone.
3. Press freedom also means that everyone is free to get seat in press, accessing for information, freedom in giving opinions and ideas.
4. Press freedom should be done clearly and with responsibility.
5. Journalists shall be free to get and access for information.
6. Journalists need to show identity to get or access for information.
7. Any individual person, groups or institution should not forbid journalists to access for information for journalists in any public places.
8. Country leaders and public figures should facilitate press freedom intensively.
9. Any individual person, groups or institutions who forbid journalists to access for information shall be sentenced.

Press Council

1. Press Council is the highest organ for journalists.
2. Fund for Press Council is from media/donors, and government budget/state of Timor Leste.
3. Members for Press Council should be maximum 9 people, representing journalists, associations/syndicates of journalists, legal, any other professional and non-governmental organization.
4. The period for Press Council members is up to 4 years.
5. Press Council responsibilities are to do mediation, protecting and resolving journalists and media problems.
6. Any individuals, groups or institutions who have problems or become the victims from the work of journalism can complain to Press Council.
7. A journalist who gets threat or becomes the victims from any individual, groups or institutions should complain to Press Council.
8. Press Council will make all decisions about cases of the works of journalism.
9. Press Council can forward a case to the court if journalist or media does not fulfill the council’s decision.
10. The Press Council does report to media and the entire journalists.

The mechanism to resolve press cases

1. Journalist who does not follow journalist code of ethics should respond to the Press Council.
2. Any individual, groups or institutions that are the victims or being treated not in the way of journalist profession should make complain to the Press Council before presenting it to court.
3. Press Council will make mediation among journalists, media and individual, groups or institutions that feel become victims because of the work of journalism in order to solve the problem.
4. The Press Council should work hard to solve press cases in a peace way.
5. The Press Council can give sanction to journalists, media, individual, groups or institution to apology through media in Timor Leste or social communication they decide together.
6. The Press Council can authorize the cases of journalist or media to court if journalist or media do not follow the sanction given by the Press Council on them.
7. The Press Council can authorize any journalism cases to court if any individual, groups or institutions do not follow the sanction given by the Press Council on them.
8. All cases relating to the work journalism should be resolved in a way or mechanism of press.

Radio and Television

1. Radios in Timor Leste are state radio, privates and community radio.
2. These radios are in the category of media whose function is to distribute information to people through their (radio) frequencies.
3. There should be an organ which regulates radio and television.
4. This organ should be composed of experts, professionals in radio and television, civil society and others.
5. This organ is the one that regulate the frequency of radio and television.
6. This organ shall be an independent organ.
7. There should be no limitation of frequency for radio.
8. Radio and television should do their work professionally and independently.


Image added by ETLJ: Artwork by Arte Moris Living Art School in Dili, East Timor


Anonymous said...

Dear sir....

On my view ,These important ideas we gathered from the outcome of mini and national workshop conducted with journalists about social communication law, not only for media but also the telecommunication can not monopoly by government or some rich people.we hope that the government should open market for others as soon as possible.10s from nelson

Anonymous said...

This is Unbelievable!!! It shows an incredible arrogance and complete disrespect towards the institution of parliament and for the professionals that work there!

As you are very well aware, there is already a draft media law, and a very good one!That makes sense whithin a civil system and in the timorese context!

Why are the australians so worried about this? because of copyright issues? or because the legal rules regarding ownership of radios or other mass media??

p.s. please note that the word "commission" is nothing; maybe you mean Committee?!

Anonymous said...

are you censoring the posts??

Editor said...

No arbitrary censorship of ETLJB posts or comments except for the usual "isms" and "phobias" exclusions, sexual exploitation, illegal violence, illegal drugs, and so on.

ETLJB also excludes comments that are posted as commercial link seeking or are irrelant to the contents of ETLJB.

ETLJB holds the view that censorship, apart from legally-sanctioned or required censorship, conflicts with the human right of expression of opinion (Article 20 of the Universal Declaration).

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