The Role of the Media in Empowering the Universality of Human Rights Narratives: A Discussion with Dr. Antoine Messarra

15 Dec 2021



Amman - December 14, 2021 – The Jordan Media Institute hosted a discussion with Dr. Antoine Messarra on the role of the media in crafting public narratives that bolster, support, and embrace progressive human rights policies and matters that impact social, economic, and political life. Based on findings in the recently released Human Rights report for 2021, Jordan continues to face institutional and legal challenges pertaining to a range of issues dealing with the rights of children, women, to implications of tribal laws, civil and penal codes, as well as right to information, among others.

As Jordan continues its path to democracy, the traditional norms evolve and shift in tandem empowering its citizenry to actively engage in the process as the concept of democracy adapts to and assimilates into local narratives. According to Dr. Messarra, human rights are universal and that universality is currently under threat due to cultural alienation, deviation from the traditional concept of democracy as well as implications associated with a diverse interpretation of it. He also emphasized that the public sphere has been undermined by democracy silos instigated by social media, curtailing public debate and discourse and replacing it with opposing opinions that negate each other leading democracy nowhere.

This discussion is part of the Jordan Media Institute’s Academic and Media Forum that aims to empower JMI students in engaging with high profile individuals as practicing, informed journalists. Held at the Institute, the series exposes JMI students and alumni to a diverse range of topics and issues impacting our society and communities.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Antoine Messarra holds a State doctorate and a doctoral degree from the University of Strasbourg in France, a bachelor’s degree and a higher studies diploma in sociology, in addition to a higher studies diploma in law from Saint Joseph University in Beirut. He is a professor at the Lebanese University and Saint Joseph University in Beirut, and a visiting professor at several universities in Germany, Italy, Canada and Switzerland in addition to the Jordan Media Institute…(more)

The Jordan Media Institute (JMI) is a non-profit educational institution founded by Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali to enhance the performance of journalists and media practitioners in Jordan and the region. The institute, which provides professional education and training opportunities, offers its programs in Arabic in order to raise the level of Arab media and provide foreign media outlets with professional Arabic-speaking journalists. JMI is also the official implementing arm of the Jordanian Government’s National Strategy on Media and Information Literacy. For more information on JMI, visit