Excess of daily Houthi crimes overwhelms local press

Excess of daily Houthi crimes overwhelms local press



By Sarah Hassan

As a constant follower of the country's flagship news portals and news  TV channels, Abdullah Nafe'a is shocked that the Houthi bombing of "three houses " in a village neighboring his, in central Yemen, was not reported by any platform. 

Nafe'a, a resident of Dimnat Khadeer district in the province of Taiz, is however convinced that "the plate of the local Yemeni press is full." For all the multitude of news websites there are in Yemen, it is "hard for them to catch up with everything the Houthi extremists do," he says.

 "On Sunday the extremists killed two separate men in north Yemen's Amran province and central Yemen's Ibb province right before the eyes of their relatives; gunned down a child in Taiz city; fired ballistic missiles and drones towards Saudi Arabia; and set a man ablaze in Dhamar city. Each one of these stories was dealt with by a media outlet or another in the same day."

Nafe'a says that although the extremists "lacing of houses of oppositionists with bombs and blowing them up is so provocative, so humiliating and so newsworthy, the Yemeni press is overwhelmed with too many abuses a day and is therefore forgiven for missing out on some stories."

"How much can they catch up with Houthi crimes? In in Dimnat Khadeer alone the militants have bombed 50 houses over the past five years. And on a daily basis they shell this village, booby-trap that one, kill people here, abduct others there."  

Tawfeek Mohammed a Taizi journalist acknowledges "the difficulty of covering every story" but also believes that "the Yemeni public in general are less likely to feel shock or distress at Houthi crimes and cruelty due to overexposure to them. Tawfeek is one of few facebookers who has a post on his Facebook news feed on the bombing of the three houses.

Since they started armed rebellions in 2004, Shia extremists have bombed hundreds of houses, places of worship, schools and other properties belonging to oppositionists across Yemen.

Yemeni media platforms work hard to catch up on the daily news of the Houthi crimes in different parts of the country. Western media outlets wait them out for weeks or months not writing anything, until a story comes up in Houthis' favor.


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