Timor wants to increase media cooperation with Portugal

The East Timorese government wants to strengthen cooperation “of great importance” with Portugal in the media sector, which is vital to the process of “building the identity politics” of Timor-Leste, said the minister of guardianship.

“Cooperation with Portugal is of great importance and we always count on the support of Portugal. We are in a process of civilizational construction, in a democratic and independent citizenship and this would be impossible without independent and professional social communication,” he said.

Fidelis Magalhães was speaking today at the inauguration ceremony, in the Government Palace, of the new president of Timor-Leste Radio and Television (RTTL), Francisco Da Silva Gari, to which all the media were not invited.

Excerpts from his speech were posted on the official website of the minister on Facebook, in a video that shows the presence, among other guests, of the Portuguese ambassador in Díli, José Pedro Machado Vieira.

Fidelis Magalhães has both RTTL and Tatoli, the Timor-Leste news agency.

He emphasized in particular cooperation in the television sector, “which comes within the houses of the population and which should be an important institution for the education and construction of the national identity.”

Magalhães said that despite cooperation in several areas in the past, there is still much to be done, stressing that trust in the “special relationship with Portugal” should allow “immediately with a strategic plan” for the sector that can be implemented in the short term.

“Within a year or two, we’ll have the immediate goals we’ve reached. There are examples of areas where we can invest more,” he said.

Among the areas where it is possible to act is the improvement of the “quality of Portuguese language diffusion”, both with a “special package with Portuguese programs in RTTLL” and through the Portuguese subtitling of Tetum programs, and vice versa.

“I think it would help a lot if we had here every Tetum programming with Portuguese subtitles, which would help the young people and the population to learn more easily the Portuguese language and also the Portuguese to learn Tetum,” he said.

Fidelis Magalhães said that it is now important to move forward with a clear and effective project, with a timetable for implementation, “not to waste any more time”.

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