Monday, October 03, 2005

Jordan Press Association

If you happen to be a media freak like me you might want to Google the Jordanian press association web page http://www.jpa.jo/all/english.htm on the left hand side there is a set of buttons that take you to more links within the same page, one of these buttons is titled News & Activities, if you click on that button it will take you to a page that is titled Latest News, the funny part is : The page is totally blank which means that there is no news and there is no activities. If you turn to the Arabic version of the page and then start clicking on the links from the top you will come back to the same button that says News & Activities but this time around it is in Arabic, when you click on it you will find a one paragraph announcement about the order to the Journalists to stage a one hour work stoppage on Sunday and that is about it. If you scroll down further you will find another piece of news that talks about the committee for anti normalization, there is no exact date written on that piece but it looks like it was written either in 1998 or in 1999. In all honesty I didn't go to the website to vet it or to see what the portal has to offer, I went in there to see if they have anything written about the bloggers. I understand that the Jordanian press association doesn't recognize any individual as a Journalist unless that individual is a member of the press association. Therefore, I wanted to see what does it take for the blogger to become a member, or does the press association recognize the bloggers as Journalists. To my dismay none of what I was looking for was any where to be found on their web page, as a matter of fact the word blogger doesn't exist any where in that website. I'm wondering if the bloggers decide one day to join the press association, will they be allowed to do so.! As we all know by now the national agenda committee has made a recommendation stating in so many words that in order for the person to practice the profession of Journalism he/she don't have to be members of the press association. The association is fighting back with all of its might, we will soon know that if we as bloggers are able to join the rank and file of other Journalists or the Jordanian press association will stone wall us and prohibit us from practicing Journalism since we are not members of their association. I say bring it on, it is the bloggers time, we are here to stay so as might as well the association get used to us, admit us or not we will continue on blogging day and night, morning and evening, hot or cold, Ramadan or Eid, blogging will continue unabated, when one blogger runs out of topics the next blogger takes over, it is a team effort, and while it is uncoordinated individualized effort, the collective net result is useful for the general populace. There is no topic that is a taboo for the blogger, they have their own code of ethics, and they practice their own self censorship.Let us keep on blogging to whom it may concern.

17 comments:

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rami said...

JPA!

What a mess is that place! Well, I was a journalist in Jordan for a few years before I flew to Sweden.

I freelanced for the Jordan Times, Reuters, the BBC and others. But my credentials were never good enough for the JPA. They do not allow membership unless you are appointed at a registered media agency. As a freelancer, blogger, or anything of this sort, you are not entitled a membership at the JPA.

The reason for this, according to the JPA, is that they do not want members who would "normalize" with Israel, so much for press freedom, eh?

Worse, if you are working for any of these agencies, the membership is compulsory, which is against the International Declaration of Human Rights article no.19.

However, the JPA probably has no idea what a blog is! They may be too busy distributing the land that was granted to them by the government.

So much for press freedom, again!

Khalaf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Khalaf said...

Do you think that blogging is more reporting, or commenting? I don't think that columnists are considered to be reporters.

Hatem Abunimeh said...

I think that blogging is tilting more towards commenting. However, blogging have a propensity of becoming investigative Journalism. Case in point : Dan Rather demise from CBS.

Hatem Abunimeh said...

Rami,

I have a feeling that a big fight is going to unfold during the next few weeks over the national agenda's recommendation to rescind the membership of the practicing Journalists from the press association. Let us wait and see how is this controversy is going to pan out. Stay tuned.

rami said...

The Canadian Broacasting Company has just landed a deal with its workers union after almost six weeks of shutting them out.

During the lock out, all of its reporters were blogging the news they used to write for CBS.

Blogs are definately an important source of stories for modern journalists, and they make anyone, anywhere, a journalist if they like to be. They are definately precieved as a tool of "alternative journalism" and is studied and monitored extensively in reputable journalism schools.

Can't wait to hear the recommendations of the national agenda

Hatem Abunimeh said...

Me too. I'm waiting to see the recommendations of the national agenda committee regarding the media.

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Seif said...

Well, the JPA site is down now. Maybe because reports said 200 journalists demonstrated outside of JPS offices to protest police attack on journalists on Friday that resulted in 15 of them hospitalised.