Professional development

There’s no professional development in Yemen and this is the reason why the need for training of journalists and media workers in all branches and at all levels is significant. Courses are required in a number of areas including safety, conflict and investigative journalism, ethics, video/photo in conflict zones, business management, online and new media. After the Revolution, different organisations established offices in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden to promote good practices in journalism, as the CDAC Network reports: Human Rights Information and Training Center (HRITC) based in Taiz, enforces laws to protect journalists and raises awareness among journalists about their rights and responsibilities, conducting some journalism trainings; Studies and Economic Media Center, a Sana’a-based non-profit organisation promotes the creation of a more professional media environment in Yemen; Equal Access is a US-based media development organisation that had an office and radio production in Sana’a until the beginning of the war, launching a 30-minute weekly radio program aimed at young Yemenis about serious issues such as unemployment and corruption. Equal Access also provided digital audio equipment to local radio stations and trained professional journalists and producers in investigative reporting, social change communications, digital audio recording and editing; also BBC Media Action established and ran a series of radio journalism training courses in Yemen to improve audience participation and help to support local governance more effectively; Danish Media Development Consultancy (DANICON) also provided support for the state-run local radio stations in Taiz, Abyan, al-Mukalla, Hajiah and Shabwa, including the supply of digital equipment and training in broadcast management and journalism; DW-Akademie has run several media training projects in partnership with MCTQI and Yemen TV, organizing workshops in Sana’a; Yemen Observer, a Sana’a-based English-language newspaper offers a variety of media services for international journalists, observers and NGO, including media consultancy and translation.

At the moment, the isolation in which the country is blocked makes this high request of trainings quite impossible. Many journalists and filmmakers already left the country and asked for refugee status in Turkey, Europe, US and Canada. Beyond detention, kidnapping and tortures, journalists in Yemen face severe logistical difficulties simply in performing their work. With many of their offices ransacked and much of their equipment confiscated, journalists had to find new places to work. Internet and electricity – which have never been reliable in Yemen – effectively disappeared completely as the country’s humanitarian and economic situation sharply deteriorated and transitioned into war times.