Jordan’s House of Representatives has approved the opening of private radio and television stations in the kingdom, ending the state's monopoly, a source in the parliament said Thursday.
In a session late Wednesday, the parliament voted to allow the government to authorize Jordanian or foreign companies to open TV or radio stations in the kingdom so long as they "respect the objectives and values of the Jordanian state."
The measure annulled the monopoly rights given to state television and radio. Since 1998, Jordan has allowed the private Arabic channel MBC, Radio Monte-Carlo and the Arabic service of the BBC to broadcast on FM radio frequencies. No private television station has yet been approved.
Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb's government proposed the bill to liberalize broadcast media two weeks after it was appointed June 19.
Following the wishes of King Abdullah II, the government has said it will also soon privatize the state-run written press. ― (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )