Following on from yesterday's post about newspapers in Timor-Leste making a silly pact to not cover stories about the country's foreign minister, it appears the blanket ban hasn't begun yet. Tempo Semanal yesterday came out with two stories, including this one:
Timorese newspapers the Suara Timor Lorosae, Tempo Semanal, Timor Post, and Diario Nasional will boycott to cover any story put out by Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa. This is because he disrespected many Timorese journalists as a result of his actions subsequent to stories published about his threat to resign by SMS to the Office of the Prime Minister.
In a meeting yesterday these newspapers agreed to demand an apology from the Foreign Minister as a result of his disrespectful attitude towards the Timorese free press", said the spokesman for the newspapers, Jose Belo of the Tempo Semanal.
So it appears those newspapers won't write anything about da Costa unless it involves them bitching about him. Yesterday I wrote about the reasons why these newspapers say they are being disrespected by the foreign minister, and I am still struggling to understand why these reasons would ever justify such a reaction.
Have you ever heard anything as ridiculous as newspaper editors demanding an apology from a member of government for having a bad attitude? What are we all back in pre-school again?
You guys are the country's frickin' media. You are supposed to report the news. This has become a witch hunt based on politics. Are we talking about honesty here? Then how about the newspaper editors explain to the public their political affiliations?
It's nonsense that this is all about an SMS. Other members of government have been accused of far worse. What about Lucia Lobato? Did the country's editors make a pact to not report on her?
Furthermore, isn't there a forthcoming conference on corruption being hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Will that event be boycotted? Come on. Some people need to seriously wake up.