(Ahmed AlBanna)

South24 Center: A Vision That Challenges Reality


Fri, 23-09-2022 10:59 AM, Aden Time


In a complicated war environment that has been going on for three years amid limited space for free expression and a tough reality in which journalists pay a high price, Yemen is not considered   a typical place to make sufficient changes in the form and the essence of media and research activities. However, as a principle, the introduction of essential changes in the field of media and research is absolutely necessary for competition, the emergence of opinions, and covering issues by using a new and a contemporary approach which basically takes reality into account. The brutal years of war have led to an awful polarization in the field of journalism and media in Yemen at local, regional and international levels. This has dramatically impacted the nature of the information delivered to observers and those who are interested. Many times, the media played a negative role in fueling the war, igniting disputes and misleading people.
Three years ago, the idea of founding “South24 Center for News and Studies” stemmed from a feeling that facts about Yemen in general and South Yemen in particular are being fractured and the urgent issues are being deliberately ignored. Moreover, what has been delivered abroad conveyed by political parties that have dominated the media sector in Yemen for many years.

On September 23rd each year, “South24 Center” celebrates its foundation anniversary. This date constitutes the fruit of a media research project which had long been a personal challenge for the center's administration. Our motives emitted from the need to find a real balance in the region's media and research arena which is crowded with thousands of media and research outlets about the situation in Yemen. Furthermore, Southern readers particularly aspired for a modern platform that sticks to professional standards, press and research narratives as well as   maintaining a media perspective that satisfies the public interests. The significance of "South24 Center" stems from being specialized in covering, conveying, treating, analyzing and studying news, events, phenomena and problems in South Yemen besides all its relevant issues on Yemeni and regional fronts.

During the past years, with a very limited self and independent resources and with almost zero capabilities, we have sought to provide a complete   image about the political, military, economic, social, humanitarian, services and terrorism scene in Yemen. Our main arena is South along with Yemeni, regional and international perspectives. Additionally, we seek to read the accelerating changes in a scene that witnesses complicated updates every moment. We are keen to provide an updated and a semi-daily analysis of them and we allocate large spaces to discuss the efforts exerted in the Yemeni peace process. In this regard, an elite of local and foreign researchers, writers and analysts produced a variety of papers and analysis hoping that they would   contribute in unlocking the complexities of the Yemeni scene and expanding the proper options for the success of regional and international endeavors to end the war and achieve the long-awaited peace.

We have sought to get Western and Arab readers involved in the Yemeni scene with all its angles, especially the South issue. We adopt a different, fearless and realistic perspective that was not available in the past under various circumstances such as the Northern elite's hegemony over the media sector, think tanks, external communication platforms, grants, aids and support. 

Such a dominance has clearly impacted analysis, recommendations and opinions of some international experts, analysts and specialists regarding Yemeni affairs. This has led, in one way or another, to mislead decision makers and the countries that are actively involved in the Yemeni file. Furthermore, this has caused turmoil in the UN and the international efforts to reach logical drastic solutions, for the Yemeni problems including historic and modern ones.

“South24 Center” has given practical and tangible focus on the local groups in South Yemen, basically women, youth and community sectors from all governorates. This has been achieved by covering the topics included in our analysis, study, research and activity list. This also aims to establish a balanced and a comprehensive picture about the related issues. Moreover, we discussed sensitive and silent issues including corruption in public sectors, problems related to environment, heritage, domestic violence, sexual harassment, drugs, terrorism and other issues which can lead to     thorny confrontations for everyone approaching them. 

To enrich this, “South24 Center” organized a series of symposiums and activities with the presence of local, regional and Western experts and researchers from both genders as well as active European and Yemeni organizations interested in Yemeni affairs. Moreover, «South24» has sought to create local partnerships with some independent and active research and press institutions to develop the notions of humanitarian and research journalism and to foster the self-responsibility spirit along with the need to develop these sectors. Moreover, “South24 Center” has sought to develop research, media and press skills of its young and specialized staff to provide a typical image that constitutes a motive for research and media competition in South Yemen. Additionally, this leads to elevating the journalism and the research sector with all its necessary requirements. The inauguration of “South24Center”s regional office in Aden has contributed in achieving a remarkable success in this regard.

Over the three past years, our published analysis, research and news products exceeded 2900 pieces written in both Arabic and English. We also issued 63 digital papers, studies and researches with both languages. We have sought to simplify delivering information through more than 580 «info graphics» and about 45000 short breaking news. This takes into account the interests of all segments of readers and followers. Besides, this creates an involvement to understand the complicated issues among the specialized elites and the average people. Thus, they can understand and predict opinions and reactions as well as   building on them afterwards. The interaction and access operations on our platforms exceeded 120 million hits. 

We still have to pass through phases and steps in the way of our journalism and research trajectory. We are looking forward to enhancing and developing these efforts in the incoming months and years. We aspire for developing cooperation and partnerships with the stakeholders in addition to expansion and comprehensiveness in our activities. We also aim to fill in the gaps and reverse the flaws that have emerged in our work during the past years. Therefore, we underscore our commitment to journalism and research standards as well as the independence of our work and editorial approach.

Our honorable readers, you are the real capital of “South24 Center”. We have the pleasure to receive your views and notes through our published contact means. One more year better, one more year greater!

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