‘Making It Official’ Dili’s Regional Media House Opens

Mar 302010

Dili, Timor-Leste – While it has been operational as a ‘virtual media center’ for more than three years, Dili now officially boasts a Regional Media House/Uma Media Rejional (UMR) that will address the needs of journalists from the districts of Dili, Manatuto, and Liquica.

With the opening of the UMR Dili, journalists from the three districts can now access important resources including free access to the internet and equipment such as tape recorders and digital cameras. Journalists are also now able to utilize audio-visual production facilities and even upload their multi-media packages via high-speed internet available at the center.

Students of the Social Communications program that ICFJ is supporting at the National University (UNTL) will also be able to use the computer lab. University volunteers from the communications program will assist the UMR Coordinator, Clementino Amaral, in managing the center.

USAID/Timor-Leste Mission Representative, Mark Anthony White, and First Secretary of Australian Embassy, Darian Clark, media representatives, journalists, students, and other dignataries attended the inauguration ceremony.

The Uma Media Rejional (UMR) in Dili will be temporarily based at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Compound in Dili while its permanent location is finalized.

The UMR Dili is the fifth in a network of six Regional Media Houses ICFJ that have opened in the country. The first Regional Media House in Baucau has been serving district-based journalists since January 2008 while the other three Regional Media Houses in Ermera, Oecussi and Suai opened in 2009.

A sixth Regional Media House will open in Maubisse later this year.

The establishment of a network of Regional Media Houses in the country is one of the projects made possible by the five-year, US$ 5.5 million “Strengthening Independent Media Program” jointly funded by USAID and AusAID.

The Regional Media Houses project is a joint initiative by the Timor-Leste Journalists Association (AJTL), the Syndicate for Journalists Timor-Leste (SJTL), the Center for Investigative Journalists (CJITL), the Timor-Leste Photographers Association (TILPA), the Community Radios Association Timor-Leste (ARKTL), and the International Center For Journalists (ICFJ).

The International Center for Journalists, a non-profit, professional organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition. Aiming to raise the standards of journalism, ICFJ offers hands-on training workshops, seminars, fellowships and international exchanges to journalists and media managers around the globe.