Timor-Leste Takes First Steps to Train Peace Journalists

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(Dili) Mudansa- On June 21, 2024, at the Timor-Leste Press Council office, 49 local journalists participated in the HWPL Peace Journalism Training organized by HWPL and the Timor-Leste Press Council. This training aimed to foster peace journalists, and all attendees joined HWPL.

This marks the first project since HWPL and the Timor-Leste Press Council signed an MOU last year. Ranked in the top 10 for global press freedom, Timor-Leste implemented this training to enhance democratic activities and press freedom. HWPL has promoted peace education through the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), and this training is part of that initiative. Given the media’s significant influence on public education, awareness, and opinion, the press’s role is crucial for building a peaceful society. This training is designed specifically for peace journalism in East Timor, aiming to contribute to sustainable peacebuilding by ensuring balanced reporting from journalists.

The training comprised four courses, designed exclusively for Timor-Leste. It aimed to enhance journalists’ capabilities by covering the basic principles and practical methods of peace journalism. Increasing the number of journalists practicing peace journalism is expected to mitigate social conflicts through balanced reporting, allowing Timor-Leste’s citizens to frequently encounter news about peace activities. The training also aimed to encourage citizens to engage in peace activities based on the DPCW’s 10 articles and 38 clauses through media reports.

Antonio Dias, Executive director of the Timor-Leste Press Council, who oversaw the event, stated, “The HWPL Peace Journalism Training has been very beneficial. Journalists who were unfamiliar with peace journalism have now gained fundamental knowledge and are eager to learn more to contribute to peace.”

This training is an important step in shaping the future of Timor-Leste. We hope that the changed perceptions and behaviors of journalists will have a positive impact on society at large. Continued coverage of peace activities will increase the interest in peace among the people of Timor-Leste, and HWPL will continue to make dedicated efforts to develop peace journalism with Timor-Leste.

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