On economic risk [Archives:2007/1048/Opinion]

May 7 2007

Awatef Al-Sharjabi
The Environmental Report, released in Brussels, announces potential risks to appear in the world, particularly the developing countries. The global warming, which is symptomatic of gases produced by radiation threatens the whole world of a potential economic and environmental risk. The specialized experts and geologists analyze the environmental phenomena, caused by high temperature, as being the main reason for water shortage and desertification. As the earth temperature increased by 2 centigrade, this threatens to eliminate 30 percent of animal and botanical entities. The increased temperature of the earth is attributed to the growing human activities such as the nuclear programs and inflammation processes with their different kinds. This means that what is excessively exercised in the developed countries has its effects and risks on the poor countries. The reports revealed that the global warming is a potential threat that may lead to water shortage, desertification and death.

According to a study conducted by Mark New, a Professor at Oxford University in Britain, the polar temperature has increased three-fold and this is due to lead to melting snow in the summer and killing the polar bears. In the meantime, Katrina Kardosu, Chairwoman of Climate Change in the university, declares, “If we don't move, the pole will change in an unprecedented manner and the polar bears will die while our grandchildren will only read about the fact in the books. It is believed that 13 square kilometres of the sea snow in the peninsula of the Southern Polar Continent have been lost over the past 50 years. The results were announced at a conference on Climate Change in Exeter City in England.

Many experts and specialized geologists mention that over time, the earth has gone through different climates and numerous geological disorders that exposed the earth to various risks destroying everything.

The incompatibility, geological infringements, and climate changes overtime are tangible facts experienced by human beings in different eras and areas while the climate changes are some of the numerous phenomena that happen automatically without the interference of human beings. These phenomena occurred in the primitive ages and before we experience technology, nuclear experiments and oil wars. Volcanoes, landslides and the melting or rigidity of snow are some of the geological occurrences, which the earth is familiar with.

What has been announced by the report that risks are due to affect the developing countries, I think that if the catastrophe occurred, its effect would reach the developing and developed countries as well, particularly as the nuclear activities were initiated in the developed countries. Support of the rich and developed countries for the technologically failed and poor countries will not be the solution unless the former halt the deadly human experiments (nuclear activities) and the excessive consumption of energy that threatens humanity. Chopping forest wood and setting them on fire is one of the problems experienced in Africa and other continents that helped exacerbate an environmental problem coming from a remote destination.

What remains is only the economic strategies for the use of water in many of the world countries, particularly the underdeveloped ones. These countries will resort to set plans for halting excessive exhaustion of water, providing drinking water and controlling the random diggings of artisan wells. So restricting these random activities, the positive move and perceiving the risk are the most importing things to be done.

Source: Al-Thawra Daily


A tale of two

successful media outlets

Recently, al-Nida'a independent weekly newspaper celebrated the completion of releasing the issue number 100. Also, the News Yemen website marked last Thursday, which coincides with the World Press Freedom Day, the second anniversary of its launch. These two media outlets, despite their short age, have done a good job. Further, they have given hope for successful professional media. I understand that there are other successful stories including the Yemen Times and others, but on this occasion I will shed light on the two above-mentioned media outlets.

I know very well my colleagues Sami Ghalib, editor of al-Nida'a, and Nabil al-Sufi, editor of News Yemen, and how they are struggling to overcome or at least limit the challenges they are facing.

It is not really an easy task to initiate a print or online newspaper in Yemen if you want to stick to the professional and ethical standards of journalism. In addition, to be able to maintain financial independence and professionalism at the same time is a big challenge.

The two guys have worked for the newspapers of the political parties and have experienced how difficult it is to be professional so as to run a political party newspaper according to the political and philosophical agenda of this or that party. Ghalib worked for the al-Wahdawi of the Nasserite party while al-Sufi worked for the al-Sahwa of the Islah party. After a long experience, they were fed up and eventually quitted their political affiliations which overruled the newspapers' outlines and crippled their efforts in boosting journalistic professionalism in their newspapers.

Despite the financial straits, the two guys decided to accept the challenge and run their own media enterprises. I guess they could have overcome their financial problems by exercising lip service and propaganda reports for the regime or other influential forces. Also, they would have, however, sacrificed their independence and professionalism, which they are leaving no stone unturned to boost them up any further.

We all know that advertisement is the major source of income for media all over the world. In Yemen, advertisements are important for all media including state-run media which has the lion's share. We understand that most of the political party newspapers face difficulties in getting advertisements because most of the businessmen are scared, by the regime, to give advertisements to opposition press. But, why not giving advertisements for professional independent media whose professionalism has become a disadvantage?!

To ad insult into injury, the majority of the businessmen seem to have no advertising strategy to market their product for they very often restrict their ads to the state-run media, being heedless to the publicity of some of the outstanding and well-circulated independent or even political party newspapers.

What is worse is that they are blackmailed to place ads in yellow newspapers just to avoid being defamed by in those newspapers. In this way, they do encourage such unethical practices of such newspapers. Consequently, it is only professional newspapers that suffer for they are not politically affiliated and financially backed up.

The advertisers are contributing in this way to the weakening of potential successful independent press that report with professionalism and integrity. In fact, it is in their interest and the good of the country that the press operates professionally. Will they understand this reality?!

Mohammed Al-Qadhi ([email protected]) is a Yemeni journalist and columnist.