Danish initiative takes serious steps to develop and reform media Yemen’s Media: Now the donors’ target [Archives:2004/746/Front Page]

June 14 2004

The first ever large-scale media related development program has now started for Yemen. The initiative was taken by the Danish mission that had visited the country in March 2004 as a fact-finding mission to determine the priorities of democratic development in the country.
The mission took this initiative as a step towards enhancing and strengthening democracy, which will in turn help in poverty reduction and overall development.
The decision to start with a 5 to 10-year project to support the media within the framework of 'enhancing and strengthening democracy' has been taken by the Danish mission based on the long-time neglect and ignorance of this important sector that could have played a much greater role in developing the country if it had been given due attention.
Distinguished mission
A Danish delegation is currently in Yemen for a preparation and consultation mission to explore the different aspects in helping the media be more effective in supporting democracy.
The delegation is headed by Mr. Jorgen Ringgaard of the Danish School for Journalism, and includes training specialist Mr. Jan Keulen, the representative of the International Federation of Journalists, Ms. Stefania Delfino Bork, and Report Editor at the International Media Support Group, Ms. Pernille Gylling Jorgensen.
In order to make the most of their mission in Yemen, the Danish experts agreed on the need to bring together stakeholders from various sectors related to the media. This basically includes the Ministry of Information, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, national TV and radio, the different local newspapers, international correspondents, departments of journalism in main universities, and organizations (governmental, and non-governmental) closely related to the media.

The mission has already held an introductory session at the Yemen Times building on Saturday to introduce their mission objective and agenda. On Sunday, they held a session on the first element of their current program, which is access to information. The mission will be tackling professional and independent media on Monday at the Yemen Times headquarters in Sana'a in a morning session, and will discuss access to information on Tuesday at the same place and time.
The mission will then meet on Wednesday morning at the Taj Sheba Hotel with Yemeni stakeholders for a broad discussion and evaluation session of the priorities for the project. This will be followed by another meeting with the donor community in Yemen to start drawing broad lines of support for the main ideas that would evolve out of the project.

Media's collaboration needed
The mission revealed to Yemen Times that they expect the Yemeni media to seize this valuable opportunity to benefit from this important project, which has only been established for the eagerness expressed by media representatives to have development projects for their institutions. “This is a major opportunity, which I hope Yemeni media institutions and journalists will value and take advantage of. We expect continuous interaction and interest in discussing future activities and projects together.” Mr. Jorgen Ringgaard, the head of the delegation, told Yemen Times.