JMI students graduate remotely amid pandemic

29 Dec 2020


Jordan Media Institute – Amman


In a virtual ceremony broadcast live, the Jordan Media Institute (JMI) remotely celebrated the graduation of 36 master’s students in Journalism and New Media, its eleventh intake to date.


In a speech at the outset of the virtual ceremony, JMI Acting Dean Prof. Dr. Abdul Hakim Al-Husbani spoke about the foresight of Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali in recognizing twelve years ago the needs of journalism and media sectors in Jordan, and across the region. He described the decisive role Princess Rym played in establishing an institute that seeks to hone the skills of journalists and media professionals, and improve their work in sectors that profoundly shape people's everyday life. The decision was subsequently made to establish this important edifice of knowledge.


Prof. Dr. Al-Husbani added that JMI is oriented around a belief in the importance of keeping up with the rapid developments in various media fields, as well as commitment to professionalism, ethics, and service to both Jordanians and society at large. He noted that although this year’s graduation celebration was exceptional due to the coronavirus pandemic -which has shattered the normal rhythms of life- the fact that it was being held virtually and live on social media platforms also illustrated the opportunities and potentials which media continues to make available in today's world.


Prof. Dr. Al-Husbani stressed that "in an era of rapid and mass production and consumption of information, news, and images that is without precedent, communications and media are the fields in which prestigious universities compete the most to offer instruction. Furthermore, media professionals and communication experts occupy prominent positions among elites driving society, decision making, and public opinion”.


The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Information Dr. Marwan Muasher, reflected on his personal biography and on his work in the media sector as a writer, consultant, and high-level official. Such experiences taught him the importance of expressing his opinion about things as he sees them, freely and without fear or hesitation, provided this is done objectively, professionally, and conscientiously. This, Dr. Muasher explained, is one of the most important characteristics of a successful journalist.


Dr. Muasher added that the most important quality needed for reaching people is not "mastery over the language" but command of information and the skill to communicate it persuasively rather than didactically. Flowery, ornate prose, he said, does not mean much if it does not convey information that can be questioned and scrutinized. Successful media depends on credible, rapid, and accurate information, not editorializing.


Dr. Muasher emphasized that while it requires years of work for media professionals to build trust and credibility with the public, it takes no more than one piece of incorrect information to undermine this trust. When such trust is lost, it is nearly impossible to reestablish.


In the same vein, in a speech delivered to graduate students by video call, former JMI Dean Dr. Ziad Rifai said the solutions that were viable for older generations are not adequate for addressing the problems facing today's era.


Addressing JMI graduates, Dr. Rifai said: "your period is different from ours, and we are not necessarily wiser nor more capable than you when it comes to meeting the various challenges that await. You are familiar with the reality of things and know how to deal with it, so set your goals and pursue them—for you are the present and the future”.


Dr. Rifai stated that JMI’s major goal remains promoting an ethos of self-reliance among students, and building their sense of the role of journalism in society, and the responsibility of journalists with regard to social issues. The Institute also seeks to reinforce the principles of truth, honesty, and objectivity at a time when a variety of conflicting values have become intermingled: knowledge and ignorance, fact and fiction, honesty and dishonesty, and openness and intolerance.


Speaking on behalf of the graduating students, E'thar Alazem said the exceptional ceremony demanded by the conditions of the pandemic demonstrated to humanity how quickly the world can change, and how the unfolding events can impose challenges in a given situation, thus entail reorganizing priorities.


On the experience of studying at JMI, Alazem said “at our institute we became acquainted with a deeper understanding of journalism, in a way that went beyond traditional methods. We learned how to harness technology to cover the news and to use images  digital programs to support texts and attract people’s interest. We narrated empathetic, humane stories driven by data and equipped with professional ethics and legal knowledge that kept us from falling into the trap of bias and subjective distortion".


With the virtual graduation of its eleventh intake, JMI has so far graduated 288 qualified journalists from Jordan and across the region since its inception. Their advanced skills have allowed them to play important roles in the production of journalistic content at both the local and global levels.


To view the graduation video, please visit this link: