29th October 2014 / By Petra News Agency
Amman, Oct. 29 (Petra) – A three-year media project funded by the European Union (EU) was launched Wednesday. The ‘Support to Media in Jordan’ project is part of a broader EU initiative to support civil society and media and will be implemented by UNESCO’s Amman office in close coordination with the main state and non-state media institutions in Jordan.
The project’s main objective is to support the Jordanian media sector as a platform for democratic dialogue and as a crucial instrument with regard to transparency and accountability. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the media and has two phases, with the first one focusing on research and analysis of the contemporary media landscape.
This will shape the structure and implementation of activities in the second phase. As an example, envisaged activities will seek to enhance the capacities of local broadcasters, support journalism education, further develop capacities in media literacy and establish an independent media complaints body with a code of honor.
“Media plays a key role, not only in intercultural relations, but also in human, social and economic development,” Joanna Wronecka, EU Ambassador to Jordan, said during the event.
“It is the first time that the EU has engaged in a specific program on media of this magnitude, and in close cooperation with the Government of Jordan,” she added.
Minister of State Salameh Neimat stressed that European Union support for all development programs in Jordan contributes in pushing forward the reform process the government is trying to implement and supports Jordan’s efforts in implementing development projects in vital sectors, such as the media.
He thanked the UNESCO for its continuous support and efforts in ensuring the success and achievement of development projects, not only in Jordan but globally.
Primary beneficiaries of the project are those working in the media sector, but the Jordanian society as a whole will also benefit, as it relies on the media as a major source of information. A free, independent and professional media is a cornerstone in any democracy and the main defender of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right, he said.
“In times of change as we are now living, it is especially important to provide citizens with the information they need to make informed decisions about their lives and societies,” Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan, said during the project launch in Amman Wednesday.
As the sole United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote ‘the free flow of ideas by word and image’, UNESCO works globally to foster free, independent and pluralistic media in print, broadcast and online.
Under the same mandate, the organization implements projects to encourage development of media and inspire freedom of expression and the press, which ultimately contributes to enhancing democracy, peace building, sustainability, poverty eradication and human rights.
The support to this project by the European Union is an important reaffirmation of the basic values, including media pluralism, freedom of expression and information that underpin EU’s democratic vision.
The present project will be a complement to a larger EU regional initiative, MedMedia, which enhances institutional frameworks for the media and culture, as well as civil society organizations as vectors of freedom of expression.
29/10/2014 – 07:26:51 PM