Facing Numerous Challenges, Jordan Prepares for ‘Fourth Estate’ Reform

Facing Numerous Challenges, Jordan Prepares for ‘Fourth Estate’ Reform

Monday, 23 July, 2018 - 08:15
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, Getty images
Amman - Mohamed Al-Daameh
Decision-makers have come to realize the widespread impact of online and social media on the Jordanian society, especially during the so-called Arab Spring.

Accompanying the rise of social media is a fall in popularity of local media as authorities recognized their shortcoming when it comes to satisfying audience appetite. 

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, in a policy statement delivered before the House of Representatives, vowed to back change, explaining that political reform is not correct without activating the role of the media as a fourth estate. 

In that effect, the government is determined to improve the performance of official media institutions, said Razzaz.

Reform will back the notion of “state media,” enhancing its role in serving citizens and in monitoring institutional performance with objectivity.

The government also committed itself to the creation of a healthy atmosphere for media freedoms, while emphasizing the need to abide by values of what constitutes a responsible freedom.

Razzaz stressed that media freedoms must adhere to respect for opinion, and refrain from insult and defamation.

He added that the new arrangement comes in order to enhance the media role in protecting community wellbeing, the level of public awareness and individual cultures. 

Above all the fourth estate will work on instilling values of tolerance, and strengthening Jordan's image as an incubator of culture, art and creativity.

Visiting a gathering for journalist syndicates and unions, Jordan's Government Spokesperson and State Minister of Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat explained the plan for reforming the media sector and rearranging the internal structure of official media institutions.

Ghunaimat pointed out that priorities lie in developing the tools necessary for the sector to interact with all media challenges and problems facing it. 

During her visit, Ghunaimat delivered a "message of intent" which included seriousness in confronting the challenges facing the media sector through partnership and cooperation with the unions.

She discussed with union members and councils on means to confront challenges limiting the development of Jordanian media and the mechanisms of meeting employee demands.

Ghunaimat went on to reaffirm government openness to amending regulations according to a clear approach that ensures the integrity of circulated information.

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