EU support to Jordan Democratic Institutions & Development
Encouraging more professional coverage of political, parliamentary and electoral news
Calendrier : June 2017 – May 2021 / Budget global : €1.6m
In the wake of the Arab Spring movements, Jordan has carried out a series of constitutional and political reforms aimed at constructing a “dynamic democracy”. As part of its strategy to promote the rule of law, the European Union (EU) has launched a programme to support this process, the JDID project, which means new in Arabic.
The media component of JDID, implemented by CFI, includes training political journalists, but also raising awareness among elected representatives of the need to communicate with the media. Between March and October 2018, a cycle of training courses in political journalism, comprising eight five-day sessions, brought together 68 journalists in Amman. Half of them were women, 54% of whom were under the age of 35.
The participants were able to practise political interviewing under real-life conditions with individuals invited to press conferences. They all emphasised the challenges faced by the profession of journalism in Jordan. Some of them said that this week of training had given them more confidence in themselves.
“The training made me think about the concepts of credibility, objectivity, neutrality and the need to consult at least three sources. I’ve learnt how to use figures and how to analyse them, to choose experts and properly present the context, so that the reader receives the right message”, one participant said.
An innovative audio programme broadcast over social networks
“Le Parlement”, an audio programme created by Sowt, a young Jordanian podcast company, was also launched in September for broadcasting over various channels (social networks, podcast platforms, traditional radio stations). This way of dealing with parliamentary debates is a completely new concept in Jordan. The programmes target a young audience in a country where the large majority of citizens are under 35 years old.
Each episode begins with an interview with an MP on “Facebook live”. A WhatsApp and Telegram number is provided to the audience to collate questions and comments in advance of the interview. Reports and vox pops are integrated into an episode before being put online. The episodes are also broadcast on the radio, in Amman (Radio Al Balad), in the south (Sawt Al Karak) and in the north of the country (Sawt Al Janoub).
Nine programmes were broadcast in 2018 and the audience is growing with each new episode. The episode dedicated to assessment of the performance of MPs in the extraordinary session, broadcast on 11 October, was particularly successful, with 15,000 views of the interview on Facebook and more than 2,000 shares. This result demonstrates the interest of the Jordanian public in quality journalistic productions on parliamentary life in their country.
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