PDF dialogue cites Yemen Times and Al-Ayyam as exemplary [Archives:2006/973/Front Page]

August 17 2006

Haja' Al-Jahafi
SANA'A, Aug. 15 ) Addressing the role of private journalism in the upcoming elections, the Political Development Forum (PDF) administered a direct and serious dialogue over two weeks between private journalism representatives and partisan political leaders.

In their dialogue, correspondents and chief editors of private newspapers and electronic websites addressed numerous issues related to private journalism, such as lack of awareness among parties involved in the political process regarding the role played by national journalism in general and private journalism in particular. They added that private journalism helps shape public opinion and strengthens awareness among society members

Discussions also dealt with factors hampering private journalism in particular, including shortage of resources and pressures imposed upon it by both the authority and opposition. Additionally, discussions hinted at weak relations between private journalism and political parties, which are unresponsive to violations journalists' experience.

On the other hand, the partisan political leaders attempted, via their address, to justify their positions; however, some admitted there is a shortcoming and that the relationship between the parties and journalism isn't so good. Others insisted on the importance of enhancing such dialogues. They also insisted private journalism play its role in serving national issues, as they're of interest to all.

Both parties also discussed several issues around which such differences dominate, such as what's meant by private or national journalism, neutrality, professionalism and impartiality.

Participants, including journalists and Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) leaders, collectively agreed that the Yemen Times and Al-Ayyam newspapers are exemplary in administrative and institutional performance, as well as professionalism and neutrality in dealing with various issues.

Addressing participants, political activist and PDF Chairman Ali Saif asserted, “Partisan political leaders should know that a partisan member sees his party as right, while a non-partisan member sees that the partisan member has part of the truth. They also should know that the partisan member sees himself as the fittest for home service, while the non-partisan member sees that the partisan member is trying relatively hard to serve the country.”

Saif also demanded those affiliated with the JMP direct their newspapers to cover PDF activities, as is the case with private newspapers, especially in the upcoming period. “I hope the goal, for which this important symposium was made, is achieved,” he added.

The PDF intends to hold such dialogues every Tuesday until the election, addressing various issues and aiming to bridge the gap between the JMP and private journalism.