Reporter: Jacinto Amaral Soares
UNICEF representative in Timor-Leste Mr. Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani, intervew with Radio Rakambia Jornalist at UN Campound, Caicoli,Dili,Timor – Leste. (04/07/2022).Photo by: UNICEF
The Community Radio has not yet been able to adapt to the nature and principles of world Communities Radio In fact. The community Radio principles are from the community to the community and serve the community’s interests, but in reality, the community radios in Timor – Leste is heavily dependent on the State Budget because economically the community still lacks knowledge to participate and support financial and program.
According to data collected by journalists Radio Rakambia accessed from 2015 to 2022 The Government of Timor – Leste through the National Directorate of Promotion of Local Media Development (DNPDML) has allocated a $1,240,990.60 million for 17 community radio stations in Timor – Leste.
The community radios who exist in Timor-Leste are composted of 17 communities radio from the 13 Districts namely, same, Ainaro, Baucau, Atauro, Liquica, Viqueque, Aileu, Maubisse, sui, Maliana, Oecusse, Manatuto, Bucoli, kumoro, Ermera, Lospalos and Disability Radio. Base on estimates budged from 2015-2022 the Government has spent and transferred funds to community radio more than one million a 1, 240,990.60. And on April 5, 2022 the Parliamentary Ministry of Social Communications (MAPCOMS) and the Secretary of State for Social Communications (SECOM) held the first public fund transfer ceremony to 15 Community Radios for a total of a $56,847.75. For the sustainability of Timor Leste community radio. which will still be very dependent on the Government because there is no strategy to support the community in the area where the Community Radio itself is located.
The Comoro community Radio Manager, Marcal Mariz da Cruz, expresed the process of commonly., at Comoro, Dili,Timor – Leste. Photo by: Jacinto Amaral, soares.
On this opportunity, the Comoro community Radio Manager, Marcal Mariz da Cruz stated that, they have always received funds from the Government every year, but in other part they also cooperate with local and international NGOs to promote NGOs products in order to earn money.
Said Marçal.” Types of community radio in Timor – Leste are only volunteer. This does not only happen to the Comoros Community Radio, but also to other radios. There are currently 17 community radios in our country, consisting of community radios from 13 municipalities. And two community radio in Dili, There are, Comoros Community Radio and Radio disability who receive funding from the state budged government to institutions.
And he said , “Not only that but also we get money from local NGOs and International Agencies through programs, they come asking for quotations for their productions here, but it also depends on them, if they agree on the price, if they don’t agree, they can find another radio they want to work with. And state partners who have been supported by SECOMS, in particular the National Directorate of Local Media Promotion, always support community radio every year and grants are paid twice a year,”
On the other hand, the President of the Press Council, Virgilio da Silva Guterres said, “with the support that the Government gives every year to community radio, the aim is to maintain sustainability. but the Government did not take this opportunity to interfere in their editorial”.
Said Virgilio.“We veiws the context of Timor-Leste on radio communities, not developed by the community that exists and also not from another group that is building but because of several programs by international institutions, the World Bank program for community investment (community empowerment projects) was established in several districts. and Radio was born with financial support from the World Bank at that time, However, after the project stopped, the Government decided to maintain, the Radio to sustain it must have financial support from the Government, so nowadays MAPCOM, SECOMS is always providing support to all the community Radio stations, but it is important for the Press Council to consider that the support given by the Government to community radios cannot be the conditions for the Government to intervene, its content that a support that makes community radios slowly an become independently and a community that must be fed. “
Virgilio also added, “to date the community Radio (RACOM) has conducted their programming well, and today no intervention has been given by the Government to the contents of community radios programming, firstly, there are no complaints, we personally haven’t seen and what I saw, I recorded several political parties and communicated with them, but for me it doesn’t matter if the political parties, the government use radio to spread information, what they do in government is better, now forced radio to talk about one party after hesitating to talk about the other side, but clearly we have not received any complaints from Community Radio leaders that they have content for political parties or Government programs,”
Of the other part, Community Radio has also been working with the United Nations children’s Fund to transmit information about the UNICEF programme since 2004 to today.
UNICEF representative in Timor-Leste Mr. Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani, explained that.” The cooperation UNICEF and community radios have focused on children voice programmes, and also provides training to all community Radio managers in order to better implement programmes.
The objectives of this training for managers and facilitators on community Radio to train children, how they can make their Radio program. We are also working with the National University of Timor-Lorosa’e (UNTL) to send colleagues from the University for internships in the 6 municipalities of Baucau, Viqueque, Manatuto, Manufahi, Ermera and Covalima, to work with community radio to promote the deed program. at the same time they also monitor the community whether they can listen to the radio.
Representative UNICEF said that they are now working with communities radio, but he hopes that in the future they can also cooperate with another media, including private Radio, so that they can publish and disseminate information to the public linked to the UNICEF programme.
Bilal said. “UNICEF is working with various media channels such as Radio, Television and newspapers now because UNICEF is working with the Government, the Government is focused on community radios, because communities radio are under the Government, MAPCOM and SECOMS, but is open to UNICEF to cooperate with other media, not only communities radio but also with other media, for all, who will think tomorrow, so that they can cooperate with other media. For example, the COVID-19 vaccine in terms of Education in a program we call the school home, its online program, broadcast on Television and Radio so that students can accompany the school at home during the first COVID-19 period, and now we think that the information about the school for home is very necessary, to cover all children and communities, so that it will be possible to explore the cooperation of all Radio and media, on how to bring this information to all communities, “