Jordan Media Institute hosts Irish journalist Fionnuala Sweeney

24 Oct 2019

World-renowned journalist Fionnuala Sweeney said that stardom achieved by a journalist is a debt to pay back to society, either through volunteer work or any other field in which the journalist can contribute to alleviate human suffering.

Speaking in a lecture to  master's degree  students at the Jordan Media Institute (JMI) on her experience  in tv and journalism, , she emphasized that when a reporter practices work professionally and accurately, it will permanently  reflect on the  journalist's work, specifically  on the methodology of dealing with events and information, along with how questions are posed.

Sweeney added that “news develops quickly, and what I sought after the most was the depth of the dialogue with the guest and getting at what might be behind the apparent image” while pointing out that the greatest challenge to any  journalist is “distinguishing between opinions on an issue and political propaganda, and the ability to read between the lines”.

As for the most difficult situation during her professional career, Sweeney said “this took place during my coverage of the Arab Spring, when we were at CNN and phoned a lady to receive an update on any developments on events. Her identity was unknown at the time, yet the security apparatuses found out, seized her father and took him to an unknown location”.

Sweeney, who is a winner of various global journalism awards such as the Edward Murrow and Emmy awards, presented -through visual slides- numerous highlights of her journalism career spanning more than two decades. The slides depicted her participating in covering events in conflict areas and hotspots. During her talk to JMI students, she also tackled many details including the experiences of her colleagues, the studio environment and communicating with the channel as a reporter. 

JMI faculty Dr. Zaid Rifai introduced Sweeney, stating that the guest is famous and was a star by all standards during her work at CNN. He added that she is an example of a true journalist, which is something media desperately needs today, in light of the prevalence of fake news, rumours and half-truths.    

The lecture was attended by Her Highness Princess Rym Ali, and the staff of JMI.