A regional conference held in Amman February 18, & 19, 2019 witnessed over 150 participants from all Jordanian governorates, Palestine, Yemen, United Kingdom and Belgium. The conference was held under the patronage of the Jordanian minister of media affairs Jumana Ghaimat with the support of the European Union and others.
The conference, aimed at studying the relationship between civil society and community media, listened to government officials, civil society activists, practitioners in community media and international experts’ familiar with media laws and best practices regarding the relations between civil society and community media.
Participants were exposed to recent studies about women of Jordan and media which highlighted the need for crucial changes that can guarantee a big increase in the presence of women in media on all levels (journalists, producers and experts) and the need to increase gender sensitivity of editors and producers as well as opinion makers.
Conference participants praised the role of the Jordanian Minister of Media Affairs and the Director General of the Media Commission and called on them to work closely with civil society and community media activists in formulating a new Jordanian media strategy that takes into consideration what is needed so that they can better serve their communities.
They also praise the Arab delegations and international experts especially the delegation from Palestine and called on them to continue to cooperate and coordinate for the common good of the people on both sides of the Jordan River and the Arab world.
Participants also commended the pioneering role that Community Media Network (CMN) is playing in opening up the dialogue about the importance of serious debate between civil society and community media and they called on CMN to continue in its positive networking role between the various state actors in Jordan.
The participants agreed on the following priorities
- The need to bridge the gap between civil society and community media by means of appropriate media legislation that recognizes the importance of community media and creates an enabling environment that can develop and sustain a professional media that serves the public while at the same time dealing with the challenges of the knowledge revolution in concert with international standards.
- Strengthening the role of civil society, generally, in terms of its communication strategy and, in particular, in its cooperation with media. Special interest should be given to strengthening the capacity of leaders and workers in these institutions so they can understand the requirements of media and can provide the basics needed to advance society. This cooperative relationship should be built mutually on professionalism and actions based on the abilities and the expertise of both civil society and community media.
- Guaranteeing the ability of civil society to own community media as a means to support civil society organizations in spreading their ideas and principles which aim at serving society.
- Changing decentralization plans so that they include the creation, and development of community media by insisting on the need that any decentralization plan must include a decentralization media strategy that gives a role to governorate councils to support, develop and sustain a local media that services local communities.
- The need for a substantial change the low level of participation by Jordanian women in media through sensitizing journalists and opinion makers and the increase of women in decision making positions and as experts and guests in media programs on all levels.
- The need to activate the training of workers in the media and civil society on different levels the most important of which is the empowering civil society in best practices of how best to deal with media.
- The need to increase discussion about community media at all state levels including academic, political, union and party levels.
Amman on February 19th 2019