Media release: Yemen Times launches new website and restores lost archive

Yemen Times is today launching a new website and has begun to restore its archive after technical difficulties resulted in it being taken offline last year.

The independent English-language newspaper’s site suffered technical problems, resulting in data loss involving the organisation’s digital archive of news dating back to 1997.

“This was especially heart breaking,” said Yemen Times publisher and editor-in-chief Nadia al-Sakkaf in a release.

2011 was a time when the world wanted to know more about Yemen with the Arab spring and the deaths of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaqi.

Despite the technical difficulties with the site, al-Sakkaf, who has an MSc in information systems management, and journalists on the ground in Sana’a, Taiz, Aden and Hodeida, reported on the political situation in the May 2011 leadership crisis in Yemen.

“We write news in a neutral and professional way. However the world did not know,” said al-Sakkaf in the release.

In a time of technology and web 3.0 if you are not online, you don’t exist. Being online is not just having a functional website, it is also about traffic and how many people read your news.

This new website is like a rescue boat. Now we are at last visible, and can recover our old database manually.

The new site is based on open source software Newscoop made by Sourcefabric, which is also behind radio platform Airtime which al-Sakkaf plans to use in to broadcast news firstly via an online station and eventually creating Yemen’s first independent FM station.

Under al-Sakkaf, Yemen Times has published several books such as Breaking the Stereotype, a book on Yemeni women’s experience as political candidates in elections.

In 2008 the Huffington Post’s Magda Abu-Fadil said of al-Sakkaf, who is also a TED speaker, “her stride is fast, her energy seems boundless, she seeks reforms, she’s bold, she’s articulate, she’s young, and she has her own newspaper in Yemen to use as a platform for action.”

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