Jordanian News Outlet Roya is Being Blocked for 'Anti-Teacher Protest Coverage'

Published October 6th, 2019 - 10:14 GMT

Jordan’s local media coverage of a month-long teacher’s strike has not been in favor of the teachers. Now that the strike is over, activists are calling to boycott these allegedly government funded news outlets, using the hashtag #بلوك_رؤيا (Block Roya). 

Led by the Teacher's Association, the strike was implemented to protest what it says is the government’s failure to grant a promised wage raise for school teachers that was supposedly agreed upon five years ago but never given.

Over the past month, police forces were deployed across the country to stop protesters. Hashtags #مع_المعلم  (With the teachers) and #إضراب_المعلم (Teachers’ strike) have gone viral between social media users. Some stood in solidarity with the protesters demanding social justice and better working conditions for teachers, while others claimed that teachers were being selfish for 'ruining' the students' school year. 

Now that the strike is over, attention is being pointed at the local media in Jordan. The media have been accused of launching incitement campaigns against the protesters. Some have speculated that they could be government-led.

On Twitter and Facebook, users have pointed out the hypocrisy in local media coverage of the strike, singling out TV channel Roya in particular. 

TV reports have been showing school kids complaining about their teachers’ absence and photos of alleged protests by parents against the teachers’ strike. Radio talk shows have also been condemning what they described as an attempt by teachers to use children as a “bargaining chip” to get more rights. This has led many to call out local media for noticeably serving as a propaganda machine.

One Twitter user shared a screenshot of the state-run TV station after it blocked him for criticizing its failure to cover the protests. He wrote, “the official state-run TV station that doesn't even provide any coverage is blocking me."

Now, activists are calling to boycott Jordanian news outlets that they believe have spread false accounts of the protesters and condemned the strike. The news outlets have yet to comment on these accusations.

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