Yesterday the Secretary of State for Communication, together with the Centre for Community Radio, hosted a conference to kickstart industry engagement in community radio regulation. The Government is working towards drafting legislation to regulate Timor Leste’s growing community radio network. This conference is part of an ongoing consultation with local stations, NGO’s and associated organisations to ensure legislation will serve the needs of the local community radio industry.
The conference invited speakers from South Africa and India to share insights on good practice in regulation. John Matison, a South African journalist who contributed the establishment of the national broadcasting system in South Africa and former chair of the Electoral Media Commission for Afghanistan, emphasised the importance of ensuring community radio serves the needs and wants of the community. He referenced some policies from South African regulations including daily news requirements and local music quotas. He also noted the importance of establishing guidelines for broadcast areas and license durations.
Nimmi Chauhan, Women’s International Network president for AMARC Asia Pacific, presented information about gender engagement across the AMARC network and the importance of actively facilitating women’s involvement in community radio. She further discussed investing in women’s developing into management and decision making roles in stations.
In addition to promoting the role of the community in developing regulation, both international guests stressed that is it important to get regulation right the first time. They each encourage local community stations to take advantage of this drafting process to think about what the community wants from its broadcasters.
The discussion on regulations is ongoing and ARKTL will be working with our members to ensure their needs are heard during the drafting process. If you have suggestions for how we can establish regulations to benefit our communities, let us know on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.