Subject: LUSA: First Portuguese-language newspaper ready for launching

06-11-2002 13:22:00. Notícia nº 4307897…

East Timor: First Portuguese-language newspaper ready for launching

East Timor's first Portuguese-language newspaper in more than a quarter century will be formally launched in Dili Thursday.

A 12-page tabloid, "Correio de Timor" aims to "promote the Portuguese language, serve the Lusophone community and underscore local achievements, which often get little attention", Joao Noronha, one of the newspaper's two Portuguese publishers, told Lusa in Dili Wednesday.

"There are some hesitations and fears about the appearance of this newspaper, but there is also great expectation among all the Portuguese-speaking community, including the Timorese", Noronha added.

With a press run of 2,000, the fortnightly publication will depend solely on advertising revenues for free distribution. Its editor in chief is Timorese journalist Aleixo Corte Real.

East Timor's last Portuguese-language newspaper, "Voz de Timor", closed in 1975, ahead of the withdrawal of Lisbon's colonial administration, which was followed by Indonesia's invasion and annexation of the territory.

Since the 1999 pro-independence plebiscite, two daily newspapers have emerged, but they limit their Portuguese coverage to one page apiece.

Newly independent East Timor has opted for Portuguese as one of its official languages, and the teaching and promotion of the language is a major pillar of Lisbon's aid programs.

The Lusa agency provides its news services free of charge to all East Timorese media.

ASP/SAS -Lusa-

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