Media training and qualification [Archives:2003/672/Community]

September 29 2003

By Dr. Abdullah Ali al-Zalab
For the Yemen Times

During the past few years, through its advanced technologies and expanding effects, media have proved to be of the most significant transformation factors in politics, economy, intellect, art, and culture. In fact, in many situations media have moreover become, in addition, the axes and engine.
Simultaneously, through experience it was proved that media as means and message have been transformed, in outputs, into a moral value involved potentially in the ethical system, bestowed on them a moral power of knowledge that directs and guides, on the contrary destroying systems of values and re-engineers them in an endless game of power struggle, and dispute among international axes and allies.
Undoubtedly, the technological advancement in communication and information handling has contributed heavily to the giant leap in the media domain worldwide. Due to which, media have availed great power in humanity change and transformations. But what is evident in our Arab world and in our country particularly, is that this advancement has proceeded the media personnel's professional abilities and ethical employment of that power and its direction to the benefit of mankind and development purposes.
The case has become that the concern to possess the technology and expertise has dominated over the humanitarian aspect of this field and the role of the live personnel development and human dimensions in the media work. A situation which led to demeaning and extinguishing the human touch from the media communication process in mass communication turning it into a solely materialistic job of marketing a product to an excited crowed waiting to fulfill their individual desires regardless of their being.
This trend has caused a great flaw in the Yemeni media address, which appears weak and shaky. All which negatively affected the professional performance of the media messages among a brutal media competition. At the time when the Yemeni media have taken a recipient role for events, waiting for them to happen and not creating them or participate in creating them, remote from social and political conditions, playing on a strange rhythm of the Yemeni man's daily life.
And regardless of the various reasons and the factors behind this flaw, the inefficacy of qualifying the media mentality and the disinterest in training and rehabilitating media related institutions (colleges, media departments at the universities and specialized training institutes) and their significance or roles is considered of the main and most important of those factors.
What is happening here; is that there is a huge gap that divides between the demands of the era and the training and qualifying that the Yemeni media are recipient in all aspects of life, starting from the technologies that keep being updated day by day and ending with the variables of everyday life which the individual lives in its society framework and his mental perceptions of the events taking place around him.
The major and most urgent concern today in this field is not the lack of financial resources or infrastructure only; it is also three basic factors:
1. Our narrow and shortsighted vision, as strategy makers, media representatives and performers.
2. Our understanding of structure of the media profession which is a backward understanding lagging behind the era which we are living and the advancements in the concepts, roles and mediums of this science and its effects.
3. Our unilateral and detailed view towards changes taking place in the world and in all fields.
Therefore, there is a dire need of having training and qualifying institutions for media people that accommodate the changes and adapt to the continuous modernization. Institutions that develop infrastructure and knowledge syllabus and mechanisms from within. These establishments must work on building clear future visions and in a strategic framework based on study of the present situation and analysis of using accurate scientific indicators and tested syllabus.
From this stand it is supposed that the professional configuration for media in technical, knowledge, and information dimensions is centered on man, as a sender and recipient and on the intellectual and creative minds more than on the manual workforce threatened by unemployment if it were not up to the required expertise and qualifications fulfilling the market demand and up to the challenges.