German journalists visit Yemen Times [Archives:2005/819/Local News]

February 24 2005

A group of 12 journalists from Germany visited Yemen Times on Monday to get an idea about the situation of the independent press in the country and know more about the newspaper's activities.

In an hour-long meeting with Walid Al-Saqqaf, the Editor-in-Chief of Yemen Times, the group asked about the level of press freedom and expressed concern about the imprisonment of journalists in the country, particularly the case of Abdulkareem Al-Khaiwani and the two chased journalists from Al-Hurriye Newspaper.

“Yes, we may be better, and in some cases much better, than neighboring countries in terms of the level of press freedom. But what we need to do is to improve further and not compare with the rest. We need to compare with the situation in Yemen years ago, particularly during 1990-1994 during which the freedom of the press was in its golden era.” Al-Saqqaf told the guests.

The journalists were also curious about the conditions of journalists and their income level. They were disappointed to know that journalists are barely able to survive with modest salaries, as most of them need to work multiple jobs to secure an acceptable standard of living.

At the end of the meeting, the group toured the newspaper's premises to learn more about the different activities and at the very end of their tour, they also visited the printing press located near the newspaper's headquarters.

The group was impressed with the fact that the newspaper was able to cover all its expenses from its own sources of income without depending on subsidies or support from the state or any other side.