Uma Media Rejional Baucau Officially Opens

Aug 192009

Baucau, Timor-Leste– The Baucau Regional Media House or Uma Media Rejional, was today officially inaugurated, more than one year after it started serving the media in the eastern districts of Lautem, Viqueque, and Baucau, in early 2008.

The media house has greatly benefited 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 media house.

Journalists have free access to the internet, and are able to borrow equipment such as tape recorders and digital cameras as well as basic stationery.

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.

One other main objective of the media house is to increase the flow of information in the region. Manuel Ximenes, the media house coordinator, is working with the District Administration and local authorities as well as the UN’s public outreach office and Public Information office to come up with new and innovative ways to disseminate information, and to complement the work the community radio stations are doing.

The Baucau media house currently has two main sites of operation, one located at the premises of the Baucau Learning Centre where the VSAT and server are located, and the other one attached to the Timor Post bureau.

The Baucau media house became operational in January 2008. Other media houses already in operation are located in Dili, Ermera, Suai and Oe-cusse. The Oe-cusse House will open, officially, on September 4th. The Suai Media House will have an official opening in mid-October. Future media houses potentially include Maubisse (Ainaro District), and in Balibo (Bobonaro District).

The media house in Baucau, 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 or Emanuel Braz, ICFJ’s Senior Media Consultant, at 733-2375.