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Gov’t media response during virus crisis ‘has yielded positive results’ — Adaileh


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Ultimately “leaving it to the citizens” to decide whether the government’s media strategy has succeeded during the ongoing coronavirus crisis or not, Minister for State Affairs Amjad Adaileh said on Saturday: “Overall, I like to think we have done the best we could.”
In an online session hosted by the Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists on Saturday and moderated by its Executive President Nidal Mansour, Adaileh said that the government’s media response “has yielded positive results from most sectors, despite a few setbacks”.
“Logistic difficulties have not only made media responses but also all other plans difficult. A number of solid fundamentals have guided the government’s media plan, such as promptness, taking responsibility and responding to feedback,” he said.
However, the minister also noted that the coronavirus crisis has shed light on the shortcomings of both independent and state media.
In regards to independent media, he noted that the financial challenges in print media are “obvious”.
As for the government, the ministries “were not prepared for this amount of media attention”, he added.
According to Adaileh, the government has already been working on establishing media departments in all government entities, but the percentage of entities whose media departments had been established stood at 30 per cent prior to the pandemic.
“As His Majesty King Abdullah said, no country has achieved a full mark in dealing with the pandemic. However, I like to think that the government’s media strategy has tried its best to always keep people and media personnel informed,” said the minister.
The daily press briefings, permits issued to media personnel and the multiple interviews each day held with ministers were all listed among government efforts towards a successful media strategy.
It was noted by journalists attending the online session that although informative, the briefings were “one-sided”, with the government giving out information but not receiving questions.
“However, to make up for that, we as ministers tried to keep taking calls throughout the day and holding radio and TV interviews with local, regional and international media outlets,” he added.
Concerns over Defence Order No. 8 were also raised during the session, given that it includes what some termed “restricting” guidelines for journalists, which Adaileh said “was not the main reason behind the order”.
“After certain TV channels published interviews that called for breaking curfews... we decided to do what would be best for citizens, which is to make sure that they remain calm,” Adaileh said.

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