Call to Free Electronic Media from State Monopoly [Archives:1999/20/Front Page]

May 17 1999

Sponsored and organized by the Yemen Times, a seminar was held on Thursday, May 13th, to discuss means to implement the decisions of the Sanaa Declaration, of January 1996. The said declaration, which came following a UN-UNESCO seminar on “Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Arab Media” was adopted and approved by the UNESCO member states,including Yemen.
The Declaration states:
“International assistance in Arab countries should aim to develop print and electronic media independent of governments in order to encourage pluralism as well as editorial independence…””… Creation of independent news agencies and private and/or community ownership of broadcasting media, in rural areas as well as towns and cities, should be encouraged.”Some thirty participants in the seminar, including chief editors and journalists of leading newspapers; announcers and reporters for television, radio and press agencies; the dean and professors of the College of Journalism at Sanaa University, and many politicians and public figures.
Professors Mohammed Abdul-Jabbar, Mohammed Al-Houthi, Ahmed Ba-Sardah, and Khaled Al-Hamdani made presentations on why the nation must allow the private sector to operate radio and television stations. Ahmed Al-Kibsi of the Foreign Ministry and Dr. Abubakar Al-Qirby of the Consultative Council led the call to end the state monopoly over the electronic media. “But there is need to issue laws to regulate this matter,” they warned.
Yemen Times will provide a full report of the proceedings of this seminar next week.