Timor’s Jornal Independente distributes free virus editions

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Timor-Leste Press Council
The unmasked Timor-Leste Press Council director Francisco Belo da Costa reads a statement expressing appreciation for the Jornal Independente's decision to distribute free newspapers. Image: Jornal Independente

By Bob Howarth

The Timor-Leste Press Council directors have called a media conference to announce that one of the country’s five newspapers, Jornal Independente, is distributing free copies of its daily editions to residents subject to quarantine lockdowns after the country confirmed its first positive Covid-19 case.

The newspaper publishes news in Tetum, Portuguese and English.

The unmasked director, Francisco Belo da Costa, read a statement expressing appreciation for this move which included devoting a whole section on the virus.

READ MORE: Timor-Leste health ministry urges calm over first positive Covid-19 case

The gesture by the Jornal’s newspaper director, Jose Sarito Amaral, is designed to keep its isolated citizens up-to-date.

The small nation’s leaders were quick to respond to the arrival of the pandemic this week.

Bob Howarth is a media consultant working with Timor-Leste and correspondent of Pacific Media Watch.

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