Greater prevalence of professional journalism, more effective public opinion..

22 Jan 2020

JMI - Amman

A recent survey regarding outlooks of opinion leaders in Jordan has shown the desire for greater prevalence of advanced investigative journalism. Said leaders believe this type of journalism plays an active role in addressing sensitive issues that are absent from the local scene and assists in exposing problems that hinder development.  

The analysis of the opinions of 300 leaders in Jordanian society, including parliamentarians, reporters, union members, civil society leaders, clergymen, and social media influencers, was presented by student Mohammed Alkhamayseh during the discussion of his Master's degree dissertation in Journalism and New Media at the Jordan Media Institute (JMI). His analysis showed that the concept of investigative journalism and the professional standards thereof are known to most opinion leaders, who demand more in-depth journalistic products of similar nature since these provide a service to society in determining its needs.

The study results also concluded that these leaders encourage specialized reporters to practice investigative journalism in a more widespread fashion and to be creative in addressing various issues such as human rights, legislations and laws which protect such rights, and political and economic reform. They emphasized the necessity of protecting investigative journalists and ensuring their freedom in acquiring and processing the information they require.

In a similar vein, student Reef Barhoum discussed her dissertation relating to the practices of reporters working in Jordanian media outlets and how they verify the veracity of news and information prior to publication. She further addressed the level of professional awareness among Jordanian journalists regarding digital verification tools which facilitate investigating the authenticity of information prior to publishing.

Barhoum’s dissertation targets 200 reporters in a multitude of audio, visual and printed media outlets. It explains that in light of the pervasive distribution and flow of information, along with the desire to publish the news and get a “journalistic scoop”, a variety of media institutions have started to compete with each other in conveying the news to the audience as quickly as possible, without properly verifying it. This has been detrimental to the accuracy and soundness of journalistic content.

Her study reveals that the vastly large percentage (98.7%) of Jordanian reporters consider themselves to substantiate the validity of news in general prior to publication. The study also illustrates that from the perspective of Jordanian journalists, the most prevalent practice in news verification was confirming the names and identities of persons in the news piece, followed by corroborating the validity of the image or video. However, the study also shows that the percentage of reporters –within the sample- who were ignorant in using tools to validate images or videos reached 42% of the study sample.

More than 40 Masters degree dissertations in JMI’s Journalism and New Media program were discussed. To date, ten classes inclusive of 250 students have graduated from the program, almost all of whom have proceeded to play significant roles in the creation of journalistic content locally and globally.