Mid-January, a team of national and international researchers was trained on the UNESCO Media Development Indicators (MDI) framework. The training kicked-off an in-depth analysis of the Jordanian media landscape. The MDI report will give input to a review of the national media strategy action plan, and to the design of project activities under the “Support to Media in Jordan” project, funded by the European Union.
The UNESCO Media Development Indicators framework is applied in countries worldwide to carry out in-depth assessments of their media environment. These assessments result in a series of recommendations aimed at helping policy makers and media development actors to address gaps on the way to a free, independent and professional media environment – the core objectives of the Support to Media in Jordan project.
“The MDI framework is agreed by UNESCO’s member states and offers a unique research tool to measure what is needed to improve media freedom, independence and professionalism” stated Johan Romare, UNESCO Project Manager for the Support to Media in Jordan project.
Next to Tunisia, Egypt and Palestine, Jordan will be the fourth Arab country for which the MDI have been assessed. The MDI study for Jordan is implemented in partnership with International Media Support (IMS), an international media development organization that has been involved in several MDI assessments worldwide. Biljana Tatomir, Deputy Director of IMS emphasized that "MDI based assessments provide a basis for an informed debate by all stakeholders involved in media reform efforts by pointing out achievements as well as areas in need of further improvement. I believe the forthcoming assessment stands a good chance to serve its purpose in Jordan due to expressed interest and commitment by the government, civil society and media stakeholders."
The research team for Jordan includes two international researches and four national researchers with extensive experiences in media development and research. The assessment is expected to be published in July. The recommendations from the report will feed into the review process of the Action Plan of the national media strategy, a main activity of the “Support to Media in Jordan” project. Currently, an advisory board for the study is being set up.