Almasdar Online English suspends news operations until further notice
The staff of Almasdar Online English, Yemen’s leading independent news organization for English-language readers, have been forced to suspend news operations as of today, June 15, due to a disruption of the organization’s financial plan.
Since launching our new website and newsroom in 2019, Almasdar Online English has quickly become a primary source of news for policy makers, researchers and others interested in Yemen. We have seen our global readership increase exponentially, demonstrating not only our commitment to hard-hitting, credible reporting but also the keen interest that readers from around the world have in following developments in Yemen.
We have sought to provide readers with a localized understanding of frontline dynamics and other breaking news, including exclusive reporting on the cover up of COVID-19 cases in Sana’a, the precarious future facing UAE-sponsored forces in Yemen’s south, and how Yemen’s telecom companies have been weaponized, among many other topics. At the same time, we have devoted a portion of our coverage to highlighting positive stories like the revival of Yemen’s football league or how women in Marib are attending university in record numbers, to show another side of Yemen that has been overshadowed by the overwhelming disastrous issues the country is facing.
In late 2019, Almasdar Online English shored up sufficient financial support from local business owners and sponsors to sustain our news operations. This funding was free of any conditions or stipulations. However, as a result of the worsening conditions in Yemen, including military escalations in several governorates, the deteriorating economic conditions exacerbated by COVID-19, and more invasive monitoring and targeting of businessmen and organizations by security officials, funding sources have dried up.
Almasdar Online English has continued to hold discussions with businessmen and reached out to other local and international stakeholders about supporting independent journalism, but the resulting funding offers have come with strings attached. Due to our commitment to remain independent and maintain full editorial control over the content we provide our valued readership, we have decided to suspend our news operations until such time as we secure funding with no conditions attached.
Our journalists, and those of Almasdar Online’s Arabic-language sister newsroom, have and continue to face extreme difficulties in carrying out their work. Beyond financial hurdles, parties to the ongoing conflict have regularly targeted journalists and media institutions. Through intimidation tactics and disinformation campaigns, they have sought to foster an environment of fear and distrust surrounding the media, which regional states have further exploited to advance their own agendas in Yemen.
In this environment, Almasdar Online English’s dedication to exposing abuses of power, holding power brokers to account, giving voice to regular Yemenis and making sense of the dizzying complexities of the ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis is more important than ever. We will work as hard as we can to resume providing this public good.
Thank you for your readership and we hope to see you again soon.