03 September 2009

New Oe-cusse Media House opens bringing the enclave closer to the rest of East Timor

ICFJ-TL For Immediate Release September 4, 2009 - Oe-cusse, Timor-Leste – Isolated Oe-cusse is now closer than ever to the rest of the other twelve districts of Timor-Leste, thanks to a newly inaugurated enclave media house, complete with high speed internet for journalists and the general community.

The newest regional media house was today inagurated in Oe-cusse bringing the enclave in-line with media houses already established in four other districts. The first to open was in Baucau in January 2008.

Media houses greatly benefit Timorese journalists, in particular district-based reporters, most of whom in the past had to travel to Dili to access resources now available through the centers.

At the media houses, journalists have free access to the internet, and are able to borrow equipment such as tape recorders and digital cameras and have access to printers, scanners and other office supplies.

Most importantly through the media house, journalists have access to ongoing journalism training as well as other training in management, finance, and advertising conducted by ICFJ trainers.

The houses also provide affordable internet cafe services to the community.

It is expected that the new media house in Oe-cusse will also help reduce the information gap that exists between communities living in the isolated enclave and those living in the other twelve districts. One other main objective of the media house is to increase the flow of information and news throughout Timor-Leste.

Filomena Sila, the new media house coordinator, is a seasoned journalist and was the former station manager of the enclave’s community radio station Atoni Lifau.

Radio Comunidade Atoni Lifau, today also officially re-opened after undergoing extensive rehabilitation through an AusAID grant.

Other media houses already in operation are located in Dili, Ermera, Baucau, and Suai. The Suai Media House officially opens in late October. Future media houses include Maubisse (Ainaro District), and potentially also in Balibo (Bobonaro District).

The media house in the enclave of Oe-cusse, is a joint initiative by the Timor-Leste Journalists Association (AJTL), the Syndicate for Journalists Timor-Leste (SJTL), the Centre for Investigative Journalists (CJITL), the Timor-Leste Photographers Association (TILPA), the Community Radio Association Timor-Leste (ARKTL), and the International Center For Journalists (ICFJ), and is the second center of a group of five being established in Dili, Baucau, Ermera, Suai, and Oe-Cusse.

The establishment of a network of Regional Media Houses in the country is one of the projects made possible by the five-year, US$ 5.6 million “Strengthening Independent Media Program” jointly supported by USAID and AusAID.

For further information please contact Chuck Rice, ICFJ-TL Country Director at 742-0776. -- end --

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