Journalism and journalists have always been a crucial component of East
Timor’s history and politics. The assault against journalists in October
1975 was a precondition to the invasion and occupation of the country.
In the current environment, the threat to good journalism inside East
Timor may not come from military force but from the use of the courts to
quash stories in the name of privacy. The public interest in publishing
stories such as this one definitely outweighs any privacy concerns.
After all, the newspaper in question did not reveal details of the
subject’s private life – only commercial dealings were covered.
Section 41 of the TL Constitution explicitly guarantees freedom of the
press, which comprises “freedom of speech and creativity for
journalists, access to information sources, editorial freedom,
protection of independence and professional confidentiality”.
The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation recommended
(Recommendation 3.5 of the Executive Summary) that
3.5.3. Publishers, journalists and all sections of the media recognise
that their role is vital to
effective citizenship in Timor-Leste and that their over-riding
is to provide independent and accurate news, information and alternative
points of view
on significant public issues to all sections of East Timorese society.
3.5.4. The media, institute an annual award for investigative journalism
carried out by an East
Timorese journalist and that this award be given in honour of
journalists who lost their
lives in Timor-Leste in the service of the truth during the period
Therefore: regardless of which media organisation one works for (and
especially if one is not a journalist), it’s important to defend the
freedom of the press from what is likely to be a fierce counter-attack
as a result of this story.
Sent: Tuesday, 14 October 2008 1:32 AM
Subject: Frontal assault journalism
The Dili Insider
Sunday, October 12, 2008
A True Revolution
There is now a new blog out.
It is an online Version of the Tempo Semanal.
Frontal assault journalism….. Whoa.
It seems that the Minister of Justice gave contracts on prison guard
uniforms, and Becora prison rehabilitation to friends AND even herself,
and this just a week after her husband caught out with $3.5 million
letter of credit from the Government in order to perform on a Government
su-pualaka.html to read all about it.
Who are these people. See
for a little background.
Amusing thing is that the Grand Old Man of PSD is very upset with one of
his most senior most ministers in Goverment allegedly becoming a common
criminal… Minister of Justice no less.
Hats off to the press. Seems the media has made a big jump.