Institutionalized Press: The Press for the Future [Archives:2001/36/Viewpoint]

September 3 2001

In the live debate I attended in the “Face to Face” program broadcasted a week ago on national TV, I noted an important and significant issue regarding the press in Yemen. This is the institutionalized press.
I openly said that in all modern countries of the world, where press companies have budgets and capitals in billions of dollars, only independent and well-established newspapers prevailed and flourished. First of all, any institutionalization of a newspaper would most probably lead to a better economic stand because all financial and administrative affairs would be handled appropriately.
Secondly, an institutionalized newspaper will gain the trust of the advertisers and readers as they would understand that it is a newspaper founded to stay as it was a strong and solid basis and wide reputation that puts it in a high-ranking position among other newspapers.
Unfortunately, Yemen is full of newspapers that are not well-run and managed. Their material and news reports are not well edited and the overall quality is low. The main reason for that is because they are not institutionalized. This explains why some newspapers claim that they reduced their pages due to economic hardships.
Being institutionalized will also open the way to become more productive and producing high quality printout of the newspaper. This will consequently lead to better revenues from advertisements, especially if the newspaper is of independent, i.e., not biased to government or opposition or any party. The increase in advertisements and the number of pages and articles in any newspaper is an indication of its large circulation, reputation, and high-ranking position in the market. Hence, advertisers who compare the newspaper with others who imitate it and which include less articles and have less pages, or which are biased would definitely choose the first.
On the other hand, the increase in advertisements in the newspaper will generate more revenue.
The income that comes into any newspaper should always be used to cover the expenses of running the newspaper adequately based on a set budget, and the surplus should be used to enhance productivity, add supplements, add qualified employees, increase circulation, and other issues.
This step should be understood as an investment because money that is put to enhance the newspaper will definitely lead to its prosperity in the long run. The extra revenue will also reflect itself in an increase of the income of the newspaper’s staff leading to a better working conditions and better productivity.
In Yemen, there are a few newspapers that are considered somewhat institutionalized, and we are proud to say that Yemen Times is among them.
However, those newspapers should never think that they are in a position in which they should stop at that certain point. They should continue to flourish and develop in all means possible.
We still have a long, very long way until we realize the true meaning and benefit of institutionalizing the press in Yemen. But only when most of the newspapers in Yemen are institutionalized, will Yemeni newspapers be able to compete on a regional level.