The Jordanian Media System – Script (en)

00:00 | The Nabataean carved into the rocks so it was a proof of their civilization and wrote the letters so it was a proof of their freedom.

00:30 | Dr. Essam Mousa –Historian
The Arabic Letters were developed by the Nabataea almost 150 B.C then Islam had adopted it later. It was recognized globally after different civilizations and cultures adopted the language for writing like the Persian and Turks.
Historically the Nabataean were a democratic society and the development of the alphabetic did not come from a vacuum, it was a proof that the Nabataean society, who formed the first Arabic kingdom, was strong and advanced.

01:26 | The Jordanians Arabs are the descendants of the Nabataean, who continued their pursuit for freedom and rejected the occupier’s injustice.

01:35 | Dr. Essam Mousa –Historian
The Arabs had revolted, when their national and lingual dignity were humiliated.
Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali had issued “Alqebla” Newspaper since the beginning of the war against the Turks, the beginning of the Arab Revolution.

01:58 | Bassem Sakagha – Journalist
The newspapers, at the time, were professional. They were writing the news of the people and monitoring the leadership activities. This was the beginning; then slowly a number of newspapers started to publish in Jordan.

02:30 | Dr. Essam Mousa –Historian
When Prince Abdallah came to Jordan, he adopted the “Alhaq Ya’alou” (The right is above) which had published by then 6 issues. They published it in Prince Abadallah’s camp, as the leaders believed that media has an important role to achieve victory in the battlefield.

02:53 | Bassem Sakagha – Journalist
The important phase was in the forty-eight, the fifties, and even before, when Jordan’s two Banks were unified.

03:05 | Dr. Nabil Alsharif – Former Information Minister
The decision was to bring all newspapers to Amman and merge them, which saw the launch of “Adustour” newspaper in 28-03-1967 from Amman.

03:17 | Dr. Essam Musa –Historian
During this period, media had enjoyed quite an acceptable freedom until 67, when the government interfered with the media and decided to merge newspapers in order to strengthen journalism, which resulted in the emerge of Adustour newspaper.

03:43 | Comment
Following “Adustour”, the government had published in 1971 a newspaper called “Alra’i”, which was followed by other publications. The Jordan Radio was established in 1948 and the Jordan TV in 1968, this process continued till Jordan has reached what is known today as the ”democratic détente” in 1989.

04:18 | Dr. Essam Musa –Historian
The freedom in 1989 started with strong parliament who came with the Publication and Printing Law of 1993 that has instilled the freedom of expression.

04:31 | Comment
Jordan is currently witnessing a diversity in the media outlets after the state had loosened its grip over parts of the sector, however it has restricted it in other forms.

04:45 | Dr. Nabil Alsharif – Former Information Minister
We can say that the Radio and TV belong to government and Newspapers to the people. This used to be the formula in Jordan. However, I believe that this formula has changed were all media became under the control of the government.
I don’t see a huge difference between the monopoly of media by the government or by businessmen, at the end it is all monopoly.

05:10 | Mohannad Khalifa – Owner of Media (second in size)
We do not have monopoly over the media, at all.

05:17 | Comment
The competition in the media sector, especially after granting private TV and Radio licenses in Jordan in 2002. This created a competition in the advertising market which was not enough for all.

05:33 | Mohannad Khalifa – Owner of Media
We are basically interested in conveying a message and this does not contradict with having an economical perspective.
Currently, for the last three or four years we can say that media is becoming economically unprofitable.

05:54 | Amjad Alqadi – Head of Jordan Media Commission
The government does not limit the ownership to certain people and the proof of this is the diversity we have.
We have foreign, Arabic and local ownerships. Regarding the local ownership, I believe every person, who has applied and was qualified, was granted the permission if they met the standards.
We do not have any intentions to make Radio and TV satellite stations owned by certain people.

06:34 | Jumana Ghunaimat– Alghad Editor-in-Chief
Out of the advertisement in the print media, (both online and paper), 90-95% goes to the papers and 5-10% goes to the online sites.

06:45 | Mohannad Khalifa – Owner of Media
The advertising market, which is the main resource for the media, has dropped for the last five years. We hope in the near future the situation will get better.

07:00 | Daigham Khraisat – Publisher of Alhayat News Website
The advertising in Jordan was the reason for the increase of the newspapers more than before. Honestly, the share of the newspapers in the advertisement hasn’t fallen back but rather increased. However, the question is where are these newspapers. This is the problem.
It is true that internet takes 5-10% of the advertising market but don’t forget the we have many TV and Radio stations in Jordan. These also get shares in advertisement.

07:23 | Mohammed Elian – Editor at Alghad Newspaper
I believe that the advertising market has shrank in the past three years. It used to take 60% of the advertising spending. Today, I believe it doesn’t take more than 30% to the advantage of the radios and external advertising. It was not the internet that took the biggest share.

07:54 | Comment
Because the advertising market is not any more enough for all, the newspapers were the first victim. Online media has only deepened their crisis.

08:09 | Osama Al-Rantisi – the last Editor in Chief of Al-Arab Al-Youm.
Al-Arab Al-Youm was founded twenty years ago, but lately the newspaper had a very big cadre, bigger than its capacity.
The publisher had thought to restructure the newspaper, but failed because the Jordanian system of the Labor Ministry were very complicated. The paper was forced to shut down for almost two months and to implement a forced restructure. It had to layoff many employees and restructure the newspaper with only 25 people. However, the financial difficulties continued.

09:01 | Jumana Ghunaimat– Alghad Editor-in-Chief
The Jordanian journalism has its special character, first, its market is small, second, the policies of these papers management and the cadres of these newspapers. These aspects led to the deterioration of the newspapers.

09:22 | Tarek Al-Momani – Alra’i Editor in Chief and president of the Jordan Press Association
I believe there are several reasons behind the deterioration, the managements of these institutions, the intervention by the state, and the over staffing and unjustified and unneeded appointments, which increased the costs massively.

09:45 | Osama Al-Rantisi – the last Editor in Chief of Al-Arab Al-Youm
In general, the Jordanian print media is heading into a dark reality.
In a little time, there will be one choice to all newspapers, either go online or complete collapse.
The world is modernizing the media and there is no place for print media.
You and I have subscriptions in these newspapers, but honestly I don’t look at them, I only read the news online on the mobile.
Newspapers are not realizing that the world is changing, there is no ‘news journalism’ anymore. They are still publishing news 12 hours they are spread in the public sphere.
This type of journalism has finished.

10:41 | Jumana Ghunaimat – Alghad Editor-in-Chief

The print media will end definitely, but I believe it is early to say that for the third world counties.
The newspaper and subscriptions are not enough to continue.
We have to think out of the box to be able to find new income sources to enable us to go on.

11:05 | Tarek Al-Momani – Alra’i Editor in Chief and president of the Jordan Press Association

If we were able to better manage these institutions and work on directing on professional basis, then I believe there is a real chance for continuity.

11:18 | Amjad Alqadi – Head of Media Commission
In Jordan, there is a noticeable fall back, and it is unannounced, but we, as a body, notice the drop in the numbers of copies and also the sold copies.
I believe it is linked to nepotism and hiring, and the absence of alternative projects that would reduce the burden, rather there was full dependence on advertising and sales.

11:44 | Bassem Sakagha – Journalist
There was an organized operation by the government to mutilate the role of media and especially the newspapers, basically by flooding it with non-journalists through nepotism.

12:07 | Comment
Daily newspapers’ editors-in-chief believed that the government intervention is the main reason for the newspapers’ crisis as well as the online media.

12:24 | Daigham Khraisat – Publisher of Alhayat News Website
Didn’t they read the Press and Publication Law? There is a contradiction in it. The article came as a hunt, meaning that the law is like a hook and the journalist is the fish.
Any person could be prisoned by the Information Systems Crime Law, which is unconstitutional and contradicts the position of the king. It also contradicts all the norms of journalistic traditions in Jordan we are customed to for 25 years.

12:51 | Bassem Sakagha – Journalist
Whoever says that he is not being subject to pressure is dishonest, but having direct pressure to write on stuff and not to write on others never happened to me. Because I have always tried to maintain independency in my writings.
Many of my articles were banned and many of papers were torn, and many were burned.

13:23 | Lina Ajilat – Publisher of 7ibr News Website
Having a license means that one should ask for a permission to publish, theoretically and ethically, and based on our belief of freedom of expression and media, we are against licensing.
However, we are not against registration, professionalism, accountability, and credibility.

13:43 | Daigham Khraisat – Publisher of Alhayat News Website

Governments wanted the freedom of press to fall back and wanted freedom of journalists to fall back. It is them that are shutting the people’s mouth and do not want anyone to speak up. And if you spoke out the truth one will be quickly sent to court, and here I speak about my personal experience.

13:58 | Lina Ajilat – Publisher of 7ibr News Website

At the end of 2012, we witnessed arrests of activists and accusations of threatening the stability of the regime or insulting the monarchy etc. This all has happened along with passing amendments to the Press and Publications Law.

14:13 | Tarek Al-Momani – Alra’i Editor in Chief and president of the Jordan Press Association

Article 11 was officially activated and applied, which practically meant the return of arrests for publication issues.
Even though is applied only on the electronic media it still contradicts with Article 42 of the Press and Publications Law, which states that arrest shall not take place on publication matters.

14:39 | Lina Ajilat – Publisher of 7ibr News Website
It is not all good and sound, there is a systematic pressure on freedoms.

14:44 | Mohamed Ktishat – Lawyer specialized in Media Legislation
Creating a new law to regulate the work of electronic news media allowed them legalize arrest and detention.

15:00 | Amjad Alqadi – Head of Media Commission
Anyone became capable of using these sites as a way to settle issues, or for extortion, blackmailing and attacking without any evidence and sometimes even publish fabricated materials.
Journalists are not arrested for issues related to their profession but rather for issues related to their unprofessional behavior, which usually occur through comments, non-journalistic material, and non-sourced information that violates individual privacy.

15:35 | Comment
Despite the lack of optimism over the improvement of Press Freedom in Jordan, the Kingdom has gone up 8 points on the “Global Freedom” index according to Freedom House, but has declined two points according to the Jordan Press Association.

15:55 | Yahya Shuqair –Journalist Specialized on Media Legislation
The regulator cannot take out the right, many of Laws in Jordan related to media, journalism and freedom of speech affect article 15 of the Jordanian constitution, but it is the mandate of the constitution court to say this.
It is true that Jordan is subject to many external threats but these threats should not deter us from our vision to progress forward.
Despite this, the Jordanian Government used the opportunity to pass certain laws including the “anti-terror” law.
The latest amendments to the law which took place in 2014, includes articles that, from the first impression, violates articles 128 and 15 of the Jordanian constitution.

17:05 | Nidal Mansour – CEO of Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists
The legislation in Jordan is not used to regulate. The legislation is used to restrain. The legislator builds their legislation not on the bases of freedom but on bases on restrictions, and therefore we have a problem with the legislations.
For example, how many time was the Publication Law amended since 1993 till now? Over ten times!
How can a legislation be stable with changing it for more than 10 times within 20 years?

17:32 | Mohamed Ktishat – Lawyer specialized in Media Legislation
There is a false impression that there are wide multiplicities of media legislations that applies on journalist.
Or that there are 23 lawa that journalists are subjected to.
This is wrong.
The legislation with regards to the media sector is usually based on waht is changing which is the government, but not on what is stable, which is the state.
The legal logic means that the legal basis for such legislations should be more general, absolute and stable.
As a result of the instability, there is a lot of violations against journalists.
Many of the journalists’ detentions were based on vague legal texts, were the legislator did not consider their violations as crimes, but journalists would still be detained for them.

18:45 | Yahya Shuqair –Journalist Specialized on Media Legislation
The Jordanian government in collaboration with the legislative authority- the parliament and Senate- amended the Prevention of Terrorism Law of the Jordanian Criminal Act. By this, it has surpassed its purpose to regulate into killing the freedom of press in Jordan.

19:09 | Nidal Mansour – CEO of Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists
There is a very dangerous issue, when an article is published in a newspaper, it doesn’t fall under article 11 of the Information Systems Crime Law, but if the same article is published on the newspaper website then the criminal act applies.
That means dividing the journalist into two halves, this is a problem.

19:33 | Yahya Shuqair –Journalist Specialized on Media Legislation
The first Publication Law issued under the democratic era was number 10 in 1993. I consider it the second best Publication Law after the one issued in the 1950s, but unfortunately, the law did not last. Even though it was regulating and ensuring a balanced between state’s right and journalist’s rights, it was stopped in 1997.
I consider 1997 until February 1998 as the worse period for freedom of press and freedom of expression in Jordan since the establishment of kingdom in 1921 to this moment.

20:20 | Mohamed Ktishat – Lawyer specialized in Media Legislation
New crimes’ definitions were introduced, this was justified by saying the law should keep up with the technologies and media development.
Unfortunately, this was false justification. All the introduced laws related to media were to restrict the freedom of press.
Punishments increased, hefty fines, arrests were permitted, and journalists could face prison.

20:54 | Nidal Mansour – CEO of Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists
Who dares to cross the red lines or raise the roof?
93% of the journalists practice self-censorship voluntary, to avoid legal prosecution or inquiries in their institutions or “phone calls”.

21:17 | Mohamed Ktishat – Lawyer specialized in Media Legislation
The absence of clear policy by the Jordanian State towards the media, led to legislative confusion during the last 10 years, which created sporadic provisions of legislations that could lead journalists to legal accountability and sometimes to prison.

21:51 | Amjad Alqadi – Head of Media Commission
It is not true that there is confusion.
Many of the other ministries have 5 laws, but at the commission we have only two laws, Publication Law and TV and Radio Law. Now, we are working on how to develop these laws.

22:06 | Comment
The freedom of press level changes a lot in Jordan but the restrictions still exist.

22:16 | Yahya Shuqair –Journalist Specialized on Media Legislation
Reporter without Borders, Freedom House, and Jordan Press Association, these three, rate freedom in Jordan as relatively free or not free.

22:29 | Dr. Essam Mousa –Historian
I believe that we have a high level of freedom but journalists who are not doing their job properly prefer to blame the laws.

22:42 | Jumana Ghunaimat – Alghad Editor-in-Chief
The level of Freedom of Press in Jordan is unsatisfactory.

22:46 | Amjad Alqadi – Head of Media Commission
The heavy punishments such as abduction and assassinations never happened in Jordan.

22:51 | Tarek Al-Momani – Alra’i Editor in Chief and president of the Jordan Press Association

There is margin of freedom. We can not deny it, but do we aspire for better? Yes but on the basis of freedom and responsibility.

23:00 | Daigham Khraisat – Publisher of Alhayat News Website
We are on cross road today, either we have a free and honest Jordanian media, or a dying one.

23:10 | Dr. Nabil Alsharif – Former Information Minister
His Majesty the King was the first to say the sky is the limit for freedom of press, but the successive governments failed to elevate that royal vision.

23:24 | King Abdallah – Speech on the Throne
On Freedom of Press, we affirm, from this democratic house, our commitment to protect and maintain the media to be the watch dog that reveals the truth on professional and neutral basis, in the spirit of responsible freedom that is loyal to the goals and message of Jordan.


05:18 | Time
Government owns 36.7% of the media sector in Jordan spread over 35 media outlets.
Private sector owns 43 media outlets, total of 63.3% of the media in Jordan

Government owned TV Channels: 5 channels, composing 25% of the total.
Private TV Channels: 15 channels – 75% of the total.
Government owned Radios: 17 Radios – 41% of the total.
Private Radios: 24 Radios – 59% of the total.
Government owned Newspapers: 3 Newspapers – 43% of the total.
Private Newspapers: 4 Newspapers – 57% of the total.

06:25 | Time
Ownership of TV channels in Jordan according to nationalities:
18 Jordanian channels – 29%
13 Saudi channels
9 Iraqi channels
2 Omani channels
2 Algerian channels
1 Kuwaiti channel
1 Yemeni channel

Information Systems Crime Law

12:25 | Time
Article 11 of Information Systems Crime Law number 27 of the year 2015:
Any person who intentionally send, or repost, or publish information via the internet that include defamation or slandering against any person, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not less than three months and by a fine not less than (100) one hundred Dinars and not exceeding (2000) two thousand Dinars.


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