Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Timor media survives with blood, sweat and tears

Things are tough in East Timor - courage is the name of the game. The risks are great and the pay meagre. And there are few institutional checks and balances - no media councils, the journalist unions (two of them are struggling) and the threats and assaults many. In spite of this, the Timorese journos and media did a tremendous job during the recent presidential and parliamentary elections - better in many respects than what is done by the NZ and Oz media! The NZ media mission last month did a great job there monitoring the media's role. (I was part of that effort - I'm pictured by Walter Zweifel in a workshop with a couple of Dili journos). The report came up with a host of ideas and recommendations for strengthening the media in future. Scoop picked up on the report - but it seems to have dipped below the horizon in most media, apart from Clive Lind in the Dominion Post and Judy McGregor, mission leader, in an interview with Colin Peacock on Timor's fledgling media in RNZ's MediaWatch.

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