Early this year Yemen Times contacted Sourcefabric to help restructure their online publication. Based in Sana'a with reporters on the ground there as well as in Taiz, Aden and Hodeida, Yemen Times is an important news source for the community. As the country's first and most widely-read independent English-language newspaper, the region depends on it, especially in times of crisis. However, in a twist of fate as the political turmoil over leadership heightened in 2011, the future of Yemen Times was also threatened.
After suffering severe technical difficulties and losing much of their database, Yemen Times needed a new content management system. At this point Yemen Times approached Sourcefabric to help redevelop a new media platform. Working with the team and using Newscoop, the organization received training, development, design, hosting and technical support during the entire process of redesigning the publication from the ground up. This time round their was an emphasis on security and a major plan for the back up of their data. Today, they continue working with this system without any hiccups. Using Newscoop, the open content management system for professional journalists and online newspapers, they found solutions to a near catastrophe and persist in providing independent news to the citizens of Yemen.
Alongside the integration of better security, Yemen Times seized the opportunity to take advantage of new tools and tactics that a complete restructure allowed for. As Nadia al-Sakkaf, editor-in-Chief of Yemen Times tells us, through the experience they realized "being online is not just having a functional website, it is also about traffic and how many people read your news." Using features like enhanced SEO their news stories rise to the top of Google searches. Internal communications have been rewired and editors can stay in contact much more easily. As well, better digital workflows have created an overall smoother way to work. Finally working behind the scenes a stable CMS protects data from future losses and is flexible enough to incorporate their old database. This allowed Yemen Times not only to start fresh with a stronger system but also to recover their lost files. As al-Sakkaf tells us, "this new website is like a rescue boat."
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