For a while now, I’ve been wanting to write something about the Jordan Times, specifically it’s reporting and even more specifically its editorials, which have increasingly started to read like press releases issued by the Ministry of Interior. They sound as Orwellian as it gets. But for some reason, that took a back seat when they started adding various social media components in a bid to sell advertising space. The home page and the inner pages of their website are loaded with self-promoting banners boasting site statistics, which is something I thought people stopped doing after the geocities era of the Internet. I guess not. The site was incredibly bad to look at before, and now it’s just atrocious. One would think that with what capital Jordan Times has they could afford a better web design – one that actually integrates social media and allows users to speak back and have a conversation (which is what social media is really about) as opposed to putting up a few ugly banners and a disastrous looking buttons to get people to spread their site’s content. But traditional media in Jordan is uninterested in hosting conversations (remember what happened with Ahmad?) – they’re more interested in selling you news and then getting you to sell it for them.
And while these words, and many more, have been brewing in my head as of late, for some reason I was struck dumb when I saw today’s advertisement on their site, promoting a company that offers Internet for US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the self-described: “Premier Satellite Military Telecom in Afghanistan and Iraq. Internet in Afghanistan and Iraq especially for U.S. Military Personnel, Contracting Officers and DoD Contractors we deliver VSAT equipment to most of all military addresses in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East, within 5-7 days.”
I know even Jordan’s role in these words is sketchy, but I mean, come on – as a newspaper, can we at least be subtle? Are there really no other advertisers for the Jordan Times? Should we start a fundraiser?
Just a fleeting thought…
Click to enlarge.