The most prestigious award ever given to a Yemeni newspaperYemen Times receives international recognition [Archives:2006/952/Front Page]

June 5 2006
Receiving the award (from left): IPI Director John Fritz, Raidan Al-Saqqaf, member of YT board of directors, and Scotland
Receiving the award (from left): IPI Director John Fritz, Raidan Al-Saqqaf, member of YT board of directors, and Scotland’s First Minister, Jack McConnell.
Raidan Al-Saqqaf
EDINBURGH, JUNE 3 ) On behalf of the Yemen Times, Raidan Al-Saqqaf, a member of the newspaper's board of directors, received the International Press Institute's (IPI) 2006 Free Media Pioneer Award in a May 30 ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland. The award was presented by Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell.

IPI Director Johan Fritz said, “The Yemen Times operates in a harsh environment known for government restrictions on free media.” IPI chose the Yemen Times for the award because it continues providing accurate and timely news and information on Yemen and the region, as well as actively participates in efforts supporting press freedom, respect for human rights and political pluralism and democracy in line with the newspaper's mission statement: “To Make Yemen a good world citizen.”

The award is one of the most prestigious that any Yemeni media establishment ever has won, which newspaper management said indicates the Yemen Times' credibility and weight, especially on an international scale.

In his acceptance speech, Al-Saqqaf indicated that the IPI award is a reminder of the role free press plays in societies' development and an important tool in reforming the country's governance and policies. “Yemen's democracy still is in its infancy. We look forward to seeing it take its baby steps toward protecting Yemenis' human rights while serving national interests in political, social and economic development,” he said.

Al-Saqqaf added that the award is a victory for every journalist, lawyer, educator and human rights activists who strives toward the bigger good of Yemeni society, sacrificing their own personal interests in the process.

More than a hundred representatives from the international community attended the ceremony, including those from award co-sponsor Freedom Forum, Freedom House and Amnesty International, among many other NGOs, academics and media establishments. The award ceremony concluded the IPI's 55th general assembly and world congress.

IPI was established in 1950 in New York by a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists.