Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More on media reform

A commentary in Al Ghad today carries a startling admission. The author is anonymous, but presumably a member of the editorial staff of the newspaper. The commentary does not show up in the on-line version, but in the paper one.

The commentary points out, in essence, that the problem with free media in Jordan is not the legal framework, but the intangibles related to the application of the law. Specifically, the author points out that what is needed is the "abolition of the numerous authorities [presumably including the mukhabarat and the press and publications department] that call the newspapers morning noon and night, preventing publication of certain news, and thus building a dam between people and information".

This is quite a statement, and one that should not be viewed lightly. On the face of things, the limit of freedom of the press is the sky. In reality, intimidation continues. I am sure that everybody suspects that this is the case, but for the editors of Al Ghad to be bold enough to print it is a breath of fresh air, and hopefully the start of real reform of the media, rather than relying on more "reviews". More editors need to speak out for this hope to become a reality.

Here is the article:



At 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i always knew there was a large degree of intimidation from the powers that be, but i always wondered what they threatened them with? do their cars get towed away? are their children expelled from school for no apparent reason?

the other problem is that the mukhabarat often have a loose hand in these matters because we have no grip on decentralized authorities. so you end up with a person whose job it is to make these calls but will do it very liberally either out of his own convictions or perhaps to prove that he is still worthy of holding down this job. whereas it is possible that had his superiors known they would not have allowed it.

i say this out of the observation of a constant breakdown in communications and convictions. in many cases you have the king suddenly finding out about a situation and ordering it to be changed. and then everyone scrammbles to save their behinds.

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Hi Nas: This is an important point. This is probably what the author means by saying "numerous authorities". Whether the issue is official policy or poor discipline, it needs to change.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger EXzombie said...

a good quistion would be how to change it....?!?!

don't you think....


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