Yemen Times and press freedom [Archives:2006/945/Viewpoint]

May 11 2006

Almost coinciding with World Press Freedom Day, Yemen Times was awarded the International Press Institute (IPI)'s 2006 Free Media Pioneer Award. The Award was established to honour individuals or organisations that have fought against great odds to ensure freer and more independent media in their country or region. I can not think of a better way to celebrate the World's Press Freedom Day.

In chorus, the letter we received from Paul Kokoski, Yemen Times regular reader summarized it all. Paul argued that freedom of the press is not just about overcoming government oppression and censorship, in fact, he sees it as a service of truth with a duty to foster justice and solidarity in human relationships at all levels of society. This is why we take it upon ourselves not to just report and cover news or publish articles. Our independence gives us the ability to be selective and neutral about the information we provide to our readers. There are consequences for every information delivered and we try as much as possible to provide the reader with true, yet constructive, information that would eventually serve the common good and develop the society.

Receiving this IPI's Free Media Pioneer Award is an honor we pride ourselves for. Earlier this year, late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, founder of the Yemen Times, was honored by the Middle East Publishing Conference with the Lifetime Achievement award.

Every year the Yemen Times flourishes and progresses more and more, and its continuous success in the field of press freedom is being noticed and appreciated by many internationally acknowledged organizations. Yet perhaps the most awarding prize that we got and continue to get is our readers' respect and appreciation. To know that our hard work and late nights are worth spending, because at the end we are who we chose to be, despite the difficult times, fulfilling a promise to deliver the constructive truth no matter what it takes. Thanks to IPI, and thanks to our staff who made it happen and of course thanks to our readers for continuing to make us happen.