Sana’a Radio to produce Yemen’s first digital radio magazine [Archives:2008/1182/Local News]

August 18 2008

Ismail Al-Ghabri
SANA'A, Aug. 17 – Udo Prenzel, project manager of DW-AKADEMIE, a German-based international center dedicated to building the capacity of media around the world, recently announced that Radio Sana'a will produce a fully digital weekly radio magazine covering health issues.

“It will be the first time in Yemen that a program will be broadcast without tape, only via computer. Of course, it will have a different style, oriented to the needs of the audience, with practical information and hints on improving personal health,” explained Prenzel, who recently conducted a weeklong training course at Sana'a Radio, Yemen's official radio station launched in 1947.

Attended by eight radio journalists, three of whom were women, and nine sound engineers, including two females, the training course, which concluded Aug. 4, was part of a long-term project initiated two years ago to digitize Yemen's radio stations.

“During the past two years, we've focused on technicians and sound engineer, whereas this course was dedicated more to journalism aspects, content and presentation of radio programs,” Prenzel noted.

Regarding media training and qualification in Yemen, Prenzel says one of the main obstacles is a lack of awareness that vocational training is necessary for both personal and societal development.

He noted, “It would be desirable that those who participate in training programs, e.g., English language courses or specific training on investigative journalism, would receive some benefit or gratification for their efforts.”

He continued, “Unfortunately, too many people – in particular, too many superiors – still think vocational training is a waste of time. However, it's necessary in order to offer Yemenis the chance to improve and take part in global development, particularly in the field of media, because Yemen is not isolated.”

The long-term digitization project will continue to conduct several workshops and consulting projects in Yemen annually. “To create a framework for this cooperation, we'll sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Yemen's General Corporation for Radio and Television,” Prenzel added.

“Our goal is to enable more Yemenis to become trainers and to hold workshops on journalism and technical issues. We desire to support radio and television in Yemen to become a modern broadcasting institution that is able to be a critical observer and mediator of political and societal developments,” he concluded.

Yemen has eight radio stations: Sana'a Radio, Taiz Radio, Mukalla Radio, Aden Radio, Lahj Radio, Sayoun Radio, Hodeidah Radio and Abyan Radio, in addition to two television channels, all of which are under government authority.