Sanaa, February1, 2018- In cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC), Mansa Foundation for Media and Development Studies concluded on Thursday the first consultative meeting with leaders of a number of media outlets in Sana'a. The meeting revolved around hate hatred and violence incitement in the Yemeni media .
The former head of Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate, Abdulbari Taher, stressed the importance the two-day consultative meeting with the opinion makers in the media outlets in Yemen.
Taher said the interaction of the participants stemming from their belief in their role in establishing the values of coexistence and tolerance. "The news should be true, objective and honest. "We must avoid the vocabulary of violence and hatred that are saturated with expressions of incitement. We must stop fomenting conflicts and hatred".
Taher said that the project of countering hate speech and violence carried out by Mansa Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO highlights an important and fundamental problem in the Yemeni media, and this matter requires everyone to deal with it positively to overcome the destructive hate speech and adopt a media discourse that enhances the values of coexistence.
Taher added that the media outlets are tools for building the nations, not destroying them.
The participants discussed a number of issues related to hate speech and violence incitement, making suggestions on how to overcome this issue.
They stressed the importance of confronting the discourse of contempt and degradation of the other and how the media can avoid the discourse of sectarianism and racism.
The participants also discussed the hate speech lexicon prepared by Mansa Media Foundation, enriching it with a number of observations and comments that were taken into account.
The participants formed a committee, headed by Taher, to draft the Sanaa Declaration on countering hate speech. The declaration is slated to be presented in the second consultative meeting which is expected to be held in the second half of February, 2018.
The first consultative meeting in Sana'a on countering hate speech and violence incitement in the Yemeni media began on Wednesday. 15 media leaders (visual, audio, paper and electronic) were in attendance.
At the inauguration ceremony of the first consultative meeting, Yaseen al-Masoudi, the head of the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate, stated that confronting the discourse of hatred and violence in the Yemeni media is currently an urgent necessity in order to avoid the rapid and direct repercussions of such a destructive speech that targets the present development, the future and on top of that the lives and property.
Al-Masoudi said that the hate speech and violence incitement resembles a large-scale and epidemic which spreads rapidly, causing heavy and catastrophic losses.
The six-month long project includes holding consultative meetings in Sana'a and Aden with the leaders of a number of media outlets in order to agree on the lexicon of hate speech in the Yemeni media based on prior monitoring reports. Additionally, the media leaders will reach consensus on declaring the general principles which include the professional and ethical standards to counter the hate speech.