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Jordan improves 10 places on media freedom ranking

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 02,2015 - Last updated at May 02,2015

AMMAN — Jordan ranked 145th out of 199 countries in Freedom House’s “Freedom of the Press 2015” report, improving by 10 places compared to last year.

In the report “Harsh Laws and Violence Drive Global Decline,” Jordan obtained a press freedom score of 66 and was classified as a “Not Free” country when it comes to media freedom.

At the Arab level, Jordan ranked fifth and was preceded by Tunisia, Lebanon, Kuwait and Algeria respectively, according to the report, posted on Freedom House’s website.

The Kingdom was followed by Morocco, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, the UAE, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Bahrain and Syria, according to the report, which analyses the events and developments of each calendar year. 

Each country and territory receives a numerical score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free), which serves as the basis for a status designation of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.

Commenting on the report, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Mohammad Momani said the government will continue to improve laws and draft policies to enhance freedom of the press, which is included in the framework of the country’s media strategy.

Such efforts include the government’s support for a project with the help of the EU and UNESCO to support the local media sector to become a platform for democratic dialogue and a crucial instrument for transparency and accountability. 

“We amended laws, helped print media, developed academic suggestions for schools and held training sessions in this respect,” the minister told The Jordan Times.

In a bid to help newspapers, the government last month increased newspaper advertisement rates paid by public agencies for ads by 150 per cent.

Tareq Momani, president of the Jordan Press Foundation, said called for more efforts.

“In Jordan, journalists are not subject to killing or kidnapping. There is ample room for further improvement in such rankings but it needs a genuine will,” he said Saturday.

“The improvement in ranking is good. Enhancing Jordan’s ranking does not need miracles, it just needs amending some laws governing the media and true belief in its role and mission,” Momani added.

According to the report, Norway ranked first and was followed by Sweden and Belgium respectively.

North Korea came at the bottom of the list, with a score of 97. 

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