JMI: Media official spokespersons train on MIL to counter extremism

09 Sep 2020

 Jordan Media Institute - Amman


A group of media officials and spokespersons, coming from ministries and official foundations, participated in several discussion-based workshops organized by Jordan Media Institute (JMI), regarding the training guide on enhancing Jordanian media’s capacity to counter extremism and terrorism from the perspective of media and information literacy and improvement of the quality of media content. 

The participants examined the nature of the messaging directed at the media by the government and its institutions, as well as the characteristics that government sources must take into account in their press releases and the information they present to media outlets, within a conceptual framework for media and information literacy. This raises the quality and accuracy of media content, and prevents the spread of rumors and hate speech, and their consequences.

One participant in the sessions, the head of the Media Division in the Public Security Department, Lieutenant Colonel Iyad al-Amrou, said that the importance of taking into account the accuracy, balance, and regulation of messaging presented to the press is a security priority because it prevents the spread of rumors that threaten the security, stability, and unity of society. He added that the daily work and the dozens of issues and incidents the security services, the gendarmerie, and the civil defense handle, especially as they are the original source of information, make attentiveness to the caveats of media and information literacy “incredibly critical and sensitive.” He emphasized that disciplined messaging, devoid of personal impressions and imprecise observations, safeguards human rights and dignity and that it is the duty of the public security services as law enforcement agencies.

Hadeel al-Awaisheh, head of media and communications in the Jordanian Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission, said that a wide range of vital sectors are vulnerable to the tendencies of extremism and terrorism, which the media plays a role in generating and spreading. She added that understanding the concepts of media and information literacy makes it easier for public utility departments such as public transit to address or avoid problems with the recipients of their services. 

In a related context, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs, and Holy Places, Husam al-Hiyari, stressed that the ministry is a fundamental partner in spreading media education and information. These concepts are used in sermons and lessons by imams and preachers, in order to investigate information before it is published. This is done to protect the interests of the people and to avoid lies and slander in any form from being spread in traditional or social media. 

JMI is implementing a series of training workshops in partnership with the Hedayah Center for Combating Extremism, with the support of the European Union, in order to engage journalists, social activists, and media officials. The workshops are designed to enhance the Jordanian media’s ability to develop the quality of its content and improve media performance to confront misleading messaging, rumors, and hate speech caused by various forms of extremism.