Media is an institution that has gained the trust and respect of people all over the world. However, in Yemen, the media is only seen as a means to earn money and push agendas as the party, owner or corporation sees fit.
The role of media, mainly satellite television channels, has played a vital role in revealing the truth on the ongoing escalating protests throughout the Arab Spring. But in Yemen, it has only turned into a trade that sells false information and in turn suppresses the revolution many desire.
The media we have in Yemen is simply propaganda. Yemen Satellite TV, Sheba, Government TV and Suhail Private TV owned by Shaikh Hammid Al-Ahmer, are all producing cheap programs void of any fact. The only program than can reliably expect to produce is what ever will help them win their political battles. The Yemen Government uses their channels to build up the image of the loyalist, while the opposition uses media to shore up support and organize rallies to drum up anti-government support.
Replaying old news, suggesting conspiracy meetings, displaying dead bodies on repeat, represent the poor form of many of television channels in Yemen. Accordingly, survey made by private media outlet said that most of the Yemeni people do not rely on Suhail, or even government sponsored TV channels. This is because those surveyed believe such sources just make up facts to fit their report.
Tactics by both sides don’t support Yemen’s right to fair and transparent information. Instead, they restrict important information and report on what only serves the interest of a few key groups in the country. Sadly, media has resorted to a dirty word in our country, where information only takes one side or the other.
As a journalist, I feel shame to discover that no one is working to uncover the truth even though by searching for it could prevent the deaths of thousands. Media must return to objectivity, rather than serve as a weapon to use when people disagree.