On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Conference, organized by UNESCO and the Kingdom of Netherlands on 9-10/12/2020, and as part of the project “Empowering Yemeni youth towards peace: ensuring access to information and participation”, funded by the United Nation Peace Building Fund, UNESCO and RNW Media launched a survey on press freedom and the role of the Yemeni press in the peacebuilding in Yemen. This survey is the 2nd survey of a series of six to be conducted in the framework of this project to understand the needs and concerns of the Yemeni Youth and amplify their voices in the peace building process.
Conducted by the platform Manasati30, the survey targeted 1200 young Yemenis, aged between 15 and 30 years old, from the whole country.
The survey revealed that years of conflict have eroded the trust of the youth toward the local media that is even perceived as one of the amplifying force of the conflict. 72% of the respondents believe that the media has fueled or supported the conflict.
According to the survey results, journalism in Yemen is facing a double challenge. On one hand, the environment is not supportive of freedom of expression, according to 54% of the respondents, there is no space for expression of freedom of news reporting in Yemen. Safety of journalists is also highly compromised in a context of conflict and warfare, 85% of respondents agreed that threatening Yemeni journalists prevents them from reporting the truth. Promoting safety of journalists and combatting impunity is essential to build trust and ensure a transparent peace building process in Yemen
On the other hand, the lack of training is also hindering the capacity of local journalists to cover the peace building process. 82% of the respondents agreed that Yemeni journalists and media activists lack adequate training in peace journalism.
Those challenges are fueling a distrust in local media (72% of the youth interviewed do not trust local media) threatening access to information and participation of the Yemeni youth to the peace building process.
You can access the full survey report on https://manasati30.com/society/13849
This UNESCO project aims at supporting a strong and independent press, as well as building capacity of journalists in Yemen to empower the Yemeni youth and ensure their participation in the peacebuilding process by giving them access to information. The project is already addressing some of the challenges resulting from the survey. For instance, a training for trainers on peace journalism has engaged 10 journalists across the country, with the aim of developing their capacity to train other journalists on how to better cover the peacebuilding process.
To know more about the project: https://en.unesco.org/node/328337