Yemen Times: Spectacular Growth [Archives:1998/02/Viewpoint]
With the last issue, the Yemen Times newspaper moved to its eighth volume (year). The progress and growth of the newspaper has been nothing but spectacular. As a publisher and chief editor, I am fully gratified.
During 1997, circulation has grown by 12%. Actually the hard copy circulation of the newspaper has not kept pace with demand, partly because of rising costs of newsprint-paper and other inputs. But given continued demand pressure, the number of copies printed was increased by 20% starting last week. At the same time, the number of secondary cities in which the newspaper is now available on news-stands has grown to almost twenty. Of course, this is over and above the major cities and the capitals of governorates.
At a third level, the Yemen Times website has been accessed by some 9,000 readers since the 1st of October. We now count over 200 hits per day. This is a happy sign. We have been receiving growing volumes of e-mails regarding the on-line version of the newspaper. The strong point in the growth of our readership is that we are tapping the cream of society – both in Yemen and abroad. Those who read the Yemen Times are individuals who have high purchasing power and those who wield visible influence in government, business, intellectual, professional, diplomatic and other circles.
At a fourth level, Yemen Times will, in the near future, increase the number of its pages by 25%. This step has become necessary to keep the volume of advertisements in acceptable balance with the news material. So, the newspaper will go to a 20-page format, rising to even higher number of pages every now and then to meet advertisement needs on special occasions.
At a fifth level, Yemen Times will hire several new reporters during 1998. We hope to tap journalist graduates from the local universities. Some of these will be employed on a full time basis serving our head office and the branches. Some of them will be stringers. The expansion will also include reporting on such important fields as arts, music and entertainment. Female reporters will get their place.
Yemen Times is considering going back to reviving some sections which have not been featured regularly over the last few months. We will resume the readers’ letters page, and will expand the scope allocated for briefs from the Arabic local press. The newspaper is also toying with the idea of resuming its French page. We ask our readers to kindly let us know their feelings on this matter. During 1997, the newspaper also bought and completely paid for its new premises. It has also purchased a new generation of high-capacity computers. It also acquired a vast array of software which enable it to do wonders.
As good as 1997 was, we expect to top it in 1998. Yemen Times has become an important part of opinion-forming & decision-making in this country.
By: Pro. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf Editor-in-Chief and Publisher