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Press Association: The relative freedom of the media and the concealment of information is worrisome
Anas Damra 2015/05/11

A report measuring journalistic and media freedom made clear that the level of freedom in the Kingdom throughout the past year remained steadfastly “relative,” for the third consecutive year.

 

According to the report which was released by the Jordan Press Association on Wednesday, May 6, the level of media freedom rose by about three points to 47 percent, in comparison to the results of the report made by the association for the year 2013.

 

The results of the report revealed that websites and online newspapers enjoy a higher range of freedom, reported as 55.7 percent free, while the written and printed press is reported at 46.9 percent and audio visual media is reported as 50 percent free.

 

In response to a questionnaire included in the report, editors and managers of media institutions responded that the highest level of freedom they were able to obtain was 60.5 percent, where they began touching the realm of media freedom which lies between 60 and 80 percent.

 

The report emphasized the need to immediately cease the trials of journalists in front of the State Security Court. The president of the Jordan Press Association, Tareq Momani, emphasized the refusal of journalists of the association to appear before the State Security Court.

 

Momani said to AmmanNet that the indicators of hidden information were high for the third year in a row and that this is a worrisome indicator. Momani added that the Access to Information law prevents journalists from actually obtaining information and is for the sake of researchers more than journalists. He stressed the need to modify the law.

 

The report also pointed out that the association did not record, historically, any cases of murder or abduction of journalists or media workers in the Kingdom.

 

The lack of supply of information was marked in the top ranks of challenges journalists faced, being marked 263 times, while concealment of information or the difficulty of access to it occupied second place, being marked 261 times.

 

184 journalists reported interventions in the work of the press by various parties. While the report said this was a lofty figure, 159 journalists reported that their articles were monitored by media institutions.

 

The report recommended special amendments be made to media legislation, particularly with regard to the Press and Publications Law, in addition to the legislation regarding media affiliates.

 

The report closed with a number of recommendations, most notably the completion of amendments to media legislation, especially with regard to the Press and Publication Law, and also advocated finding solutions to ending the print publication crisis, in addition to dealing with the press and other means of media with respect to the integrity of advertisements and subscriptions.

 

It also recommended strengthening the independence of media institutions, in both their administrative and editorial decisions, and supporting community radio stations.

 

*The Arabic version of this article appeared on May 06, 2015

Translated by Julia Norris

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