detail - Regional Programme Gulf States
This portlet should not exist anymore
Years of authoritarianism and repressive rule have stifled the development of professional journalism. Media outlets are subject to incisive censorship and their representatives routinely targeted with intimidation, arbitrary detention, and violence at the hands of the security services and tribal militias. Even today, the country still ranks at the far bottom of any freedom-of-speech index.
In this light, the political upheavals of 2011 represented a momentous opportunity for Yemeni media to reclaim its long-lost position as a natural mediator between the state and the public. Indeed, despite persisting problems and restrictions, there is tentative hope that the media will emerge freer and more able to engage Yemenis in the political development of their country than ever before. At the same time, however, there is a worrisome tendency towards strongly biased reporting and questionable loyalties — something that is already squandering the media’s potential to play a moderating, constructive role in the political transition.
Based on this important, yet ambivalent role that the local media play, the Regional Office Gulf States and the Yemen Polling Center are planning a comprehensive study on the situation of journalism in Yemen. The new research project aims to provide decision-makers and actors from Yemen’s civil society as well as international observers with a better, in-depth understanding of the media landscape in the war-torn country. In addition to a thorough analysis of the status quo, the study will also formulate tentative policy recommendations.
The research project will kick off with a two-day workshop, held December 7-9 in Amman, during which a first draft concept of the study will be presented. Expert feedback on the theoretical framework and methodological approaches will then serve as a basis for the subsequent field-work in Yemen, to be carried out by the Yemen Polling Center.