The Macau Portuguese and English Press Association (AIPIM) has elected new governing staff during a meeting held yesterday. José Carlos Matias is the new president of the association’s board of directors, replacing João Francisco Pinto.
Among other priorities for his mandate, Matias told the Times that the Association intends to highlight the role played by English-speaking media outlets.
Matias stressed to the Times yesterday that English media outlets play a significant role in the region as it keeps the English-speaking communities in Macau informed.
“The English-speaking press does provide a valuable service for the communities in the Macau SAR,” Matias said during a phone interview.
“We believe that it would be desirable and we would welcome a situation where the support given to Portuguese- and Chinese-speaking press could be extended to the English speaking press,” Matias, who is the editor of TDM English news, said. “I think it would be a desirable development and that it would make sense.”
Meanwhile, throughout the first half of the year, the association pledged to prioritize the analysis of the press freedom questionnaires that were handed out and collected in 2016.
The report aims to provide a comprehensive document, which would provide a better understanding of the current press freedom situation amongst Macau-based Portuguese and English-speaking journalists.
Commenting on the current status of press freedom in Macau, Matias remarked that it may still be tough for reporters to acquire access to some sources.
“It’s not so much about the press freedom downstream but more about the access to sources upstream,” he said.
“My general observation would be that the picture downstream seems satisfactory, but I think we have to look at the whole process in a more holistic manner.”
Matias also confirmed that the association needs to conduct an Extraordinary General Assembly meeting to discuss and give the green light to the proposed Code of Ethics (Deontological Code) and “Journalist Statute.”
He noted that AIPIM is moving on with the approval process of the Code of Ethics, which will hopefully be a reference, and to be adapted on a voluntarily basis by Macau-based journalists.
Further written in the 2017/2018 action plan of AIPIM, it aims to collaborate with language centers to provide language courses in Chinese as well as in newspaper writing techniques, which would be held in English.
Regular debates and forums addressing topics of public interest related to the media industry and the MSAR’s social, political and economic development is also looked into.
Meanwhile, the newly elected presidents of the association’s General Assembly and Supervisory Board are João Francisco Pinto and Paulo Barbosa (who is the Times managing editor) respectively.