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JMI concludes media literacy project supported by Norway

By Batool Ghaith - Oct 28,2021 - Last updated at Oct 28,2021

Norway’s Ambassador to Jordan Espen Lindbæck speaks during the closing ceremony of a media literacy project at the Jordan Media Institute on Thursday (Photo courtesy of JMI)

AMMAN — The Jordan Media Institute (JMI) on Thursday concluded a project titled “Battling Misinformation and Promoting Rights and Freedoms in Jordan through Media Literacy”. 

According to a JMI statement, the project was a response to the pandemic, which has highlighted the urgent need for individuals to have access to correct information.

The project was carried out with the support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Norwegian embassy in Jordan.

Norway’s Ambassador to Jordan Espen Lindbæck, JMI Chief Executive Officer Mustafa Hamarneh, Dean of JMI Mirna Abu Zeid, as well as representatives from civil society organisations, (CSOs), media, academia, activists and students who participated in the training attended the closing ceremony. 

During the ceremony, the JMI announced the launch of the Media and Information Literacy (MIL) webpage on JMI’s website, which uploads all the project outputs, training manuals and videos, and an audio-visual training guide to media and information education for civil society institutions.

The project aimed to increase public awareness of MIL concepts, in addition to using digital and social media platforms to enhance MIL skills, including access to information, message analysis, and content creation and production. 

In her opening remarks, Abu Zeid expressed gratitude for the Norwegian embassy’s efforts and partnership. 

“Our partnership with the Norwegian embassy in Amman is a long-term partnership, as we share the same vision. We have successfully completed our mission, to enhance awareness, knowledge and understanding of media and information skills among CSOs and the general public,” Abu Zeid said.

According to Abu Zaid, “the JMI is the first entity to introduce media literacy to Jordan” and is the “regional pioneer” in introducing and expanding its concepts to the Arab world as well. 

Abu Zaid emphasised that people should learn how to distinguish between news and opinions and critically interpret content. 

The Norwegian ambassador expressed his happiness with the partnership with the JMI, as it is “one of the embassy’s longest standing partners”. 

“The pandemic has shown us how crucial access to reliable information is if we are to safeguard everyone’s rights and maintain a high level of trust within our societies. We appreciate the emphasis the government of Jordan is placing on media literacy, as well as JMI’s important work to enhance media and information literacy skills in its programming,” Lindbæck noted.

“We need independent voices like the JMI to advocate freedom of expression and human rights, values that Norway strongly supports,” Lindbæck continued.

The ambassador noted that one of the definitions of media literacy in education is about helping students become competent, critical and literate in all media forms so that they have control over what they see and hear.

“Media literacy also helps people acquire critical thinking and fact checking,” the ambassador added.

A number of trainees spoke about their experiences during the project, and the skills they acquired on MIL concepts and skills, such as how to deal with news and how to publish it, and how to tell the news correctly while adhering to ethical and professional standards of journalistic work, such as integrity and credibility.

Shadi Shawahin, Head of the Wadak Association for Media Arts, which participated in the MIL project, described the experience as “enriching and eye-opening”.

“There is no doubt that we need MIL now more than ever. The MIL concepts and skills are important for everyone to know how to deal with news or how to publish it, while adhering to ethical and professional standards,” he said.

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