JPA Cries Foul: Jordan's Two Top National Dailies May be Dissolved or Merged

Published December 16th, 2019 - 02:52 GMT
...The state must find “drastic solutions” to the challenges facing print media, especially Ad Dustour and Al Rai dailies

he Jordan Press Association (JPA) will stand against any measures to dissolve or merge Al Rai and Ad Dustour dailies, which are both owned by the Social Security Corporation (SSC), under any circumstances, JPA President Rakan Saaideh said on Sunday. 

During a meeting of the Lower House's national guidance committee for media and culture, Saaideh, who is also editor-in-chief of Al Rai, stressed that the state must find “drastic solutions” to the challenges facing print media, especially Ad Dustour and Al Rai dailies, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.  

He added that these dailies and the private Al Ghad daily, should be looked at as national institutions rather than investments.

The editor-in-chief noted that previous administrations and government decisions have had “clear impacts” on exacerbating the "crises" of these dailies. 

What Al Rai, Ad Dustour and Al Ghad do has a large and influential role and their financial hardships must be addressed, Saaideh reiterated, suggesting the establishment of a national fund to support print media in a way that guarantees its sustainability and independence.

MP Mahasen Shraa, head of the committee, called for supporting print media as it is facing challenges and problems “clear to all”.

SSC Director General Hazem Rahahleh said that the print media industry faces financial challenges, and called for direct communication with the administrations of Al Rai and Ad Dustour to examine their difficulties and work on resolving them through a joint approach.    

Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) CEO Kholoud Saqqaf said that the fund places special attention on these two national institutions, highlighting "intensive" follow ups by the SSIF to arrive at the procedures necessary to put these two dailies “back on the right track”.

Ad Dustour Chief Editor Mustafa Rialat said that the situation of these dailies requires a clear government decision that contributes to solving their crises and challenges, noting that employees of Ad Dustour have offered compromises for the daily to continue.  

For his part, Assistant Secretary General for Prime Ministry Affairs Osamah Salameh said that the government has implemented some procedures to support print media, including increasing the prices of government advertisement from 25 per cent to 55 per cent. 


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