World Press Freedom Day | Jordanian Media In Numbers

Ninety-four per cent of journalists in Jordan practise self-censorship, according to a survey conducted by the Centre for Defending the Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ) to mark World Press Freedom Day.

“This year, the survey highlighted self-censorship exercised by journalists in Jordan as well as the phenomenon of bloggers in the Kingdom and the increasing role of citizen journalists within the electronic media revolution,” CDFJ Director Nidal Mansour said at a press conference to announce the results on Saturday.

A phenomenon?

…Asked which issues they voluntarily avoid discussing, 98 per cent of the polled journalists said everything related to the Armed Forces, while 81 per cent cited religious issues. Meanwhile, 78 and 77 per cent respectively said they avoid criticising tribal and Arab leaders; 74 per cent said they don’t discuss sex issues, and 54 per cent said they keep away from criticising the government.

Conducted by a specialised team of independent researchers, the survey also revealed that 68 per cent of respondents believe that government interference in the media has increased in recent years, compared to less than 8.5 per cent in 2004. [source]

sigh…

Article 15 of the Jordanian Constitution:

(i) The State shall guarantee freedom of opinion. Every Jordanian shall be free to express his opinion by speech, in writing, or by means of photographic representation and other forms of expression, provided that such does not violate the law.

(ii) Freedom of the press and publications shall be ensured within the limits of the law.

You’re free to speak, express, write, and be vocal…but as long as it doesn’t violate all the laws that say you’re not allowed to speak, express, write and be vocal. Suffice to say, the practice of self-censorship by journalists has just cause.

Happy world press freedom day!

16 thoughts on “World Press Freedom Day | Jordanian Media In Numbers

  1. This doesn’t even include editors, who help further editing/conforming take place.

    All this bad news, Nas, I am praying for enough good news to keep you going. :S

  2. Everyone knows the Jordanian Constitution, and that of all Arab countries, is a PR document we show to Western donors and annoying human rights organizations who want to see that we are a nice, modern, and democratic Arab country. Our constitution is an ornament.

  3. Reading this entry right now is a bit of a coincidence: earlier today I was reading about about self-censorship by Jordanian journalists in Neil MacFarquhar’s book The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday. MacFarquhar talks about Emad Hajjaj, too.
    I love your blog, by the way. I discovered it a while back when my sister started seeing a Jordanian guy living here in the US (they’re now engaged, which I’m happy with because he’s a cool guy and a good cook), and I realized I should learn more about Jordan. Keep up the good work, please, and the informed, honest, and wry commentary. (People don’t say that enough to good bloggers, do they?) Every country needs its citzens to demand openness from its government and media–heck, we just had an eight-year lesson in that need here in America.

  4. It seem the fourth pillar of governance, “our free press” is only worried about filling its pockets when it comes to applying self censorship, how come our major news paper, the big brother is eager to produce a propaganda flier to compete with others filling our weekend doorsteps with senseless and shallow advertising rather than focusing on producing a weekend colourful supplement that reflects news, snap shots, more space for free inquisitive and investigative press with in depth analysis, portals to enhances readership and knowledge of our beloved country.

    Sadly no body voiced support for the “cultural tax” to be imposed on advertising space “pages and pages” on our daily’s narrowing content to less than 10% of the page space. Hurray for a “moral press” with a sense of social responsibility that should encourage culture, reading and common sense rather than filling our street with propaganda paper litter which our municipalities have to clean every Saturday with tax payer money. Thank God for the Blogs the new free press.

  5. Well.. you are a phenomenon your self 🙂
    this is fairly free and sure as hell more interesting than the tangible stuff!

  6. wait…

    “(i) The State shall guarantee freedom of opinion. Every Jordanian shall be free to express his opinion by speech, in writing, or by means of photographic representation and other forms of expression, provided that such does not violate the law.”

    Seriously? We have an oxymoron, IN OUR CONSTITUTION !

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