The Timor-Leste Community Radio Engagement project is a year-long project aimed at supporting stations to encourage community participation in community radio. The project was initiated by ARKTL and Australian Partner Organisation, the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre, and is supported by two AusAID-funded Australian volunteers. ARKTL recently received additional funding from Australian Embassy in Timor-Leste’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) to support the pilot phase of this project.
Initially the project will be focussing on three stations, Radio Matebean in Baucau, Radio Komunidade Maubisse in Maubisse and Radio Komunidade Afoni Lifau in Oecusse. In 2014 ARKTL will be supporting other community radio stations throughout Timor Leste to engage local communities in radio-making and running their community radio stations.
Stage one of the Community Radio Engagement Project was delivered in November 2013. Community radio workers from Oecusse, Aileu, Maubisse, Baucau, Covalima, Bucoli and Dili – along with staff from Search for Common Ground – participated in two days of workshops in Dili facilitated by ARKTL. The contents of the workshop were developed in consultation with station staff during ARKTL feild trips in October 2013. The workshops covered Financial Transparency and Accountability, Community Engagement, Writing for Web and Training for Trainers. Materials developed during these workshops and distributed to participants will be available to all community radio stations through the ARKTL website – here. In the next few months ARKTL staff will be travelling to community radio stations in Oecusse, Baucau, Bucoli, Maubisse and Aileu to further support those stations to implement training for new volunteers and plan community events.
Timor-Leste Media Laws
ARKTL is working alongside other media organisations in Timor-Leste to draft the national media laws that will be approved by Government early 2014. ARKTL is actively working to ensure that the media laws recognise community radio workers as professional journalists and the community radio sector is acknowledged as an integral part of Timor Leste’s media industry.
ARKTL President Prezado Ximenes is part of ‘Team 5’, sitting with fellow journalists Salvador Ximenes, Suzana Cardoso, Mauzinho Lopes and Otelio Ote. ‘Team 5’ is the elected body representing journalists in the development of the new media laws in Timor-Leste and Ximenes was chosen by his team to lead the organising committee for the recent Journalist Congress. During this Congress the Code of Ethics was approved and the draft constitution of the Press Council remains under review.
ARKTL continues to advocate for recognition of the community radio sector and for community radio journalists in government policy.