It’s the Syrian journalists working from exile in Jordan, who are the most active in covering the migration topic in the Hashemite Kingdom, a new report on How Does the Media on Both Sides of the Mediterranean Report on Migration points out.
The study which was carried in 17 EU and EU Neighbourhood country has been drafted by 17 journalists, commissioned by the EUROMED Migration IV and funded by the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the EU. The Ethical Journalism Network conducted the research in 2015-2016.
“Syrian migrant journalists trained in Jordan used their newly developed skills to find jobs with major Arab and international media outlets. They provided chance for Syrian issues to be regularly covered by regional and world media outlets”, the report says.
Numerous radio programs dedicated to refugees and migrants are also broadcasted on Voice of Karak or Yamnouk FM by Syrian journalists. It was again Syrians, who were involved in the most hard-hitting investigative reports produced in Jordan by the investigative journalism unit at Radio al Balad, the study reveals, citing stories on corruption, deportation and confiscation of official documents of Syrians.
There are around 1,5 million Syrian refugees in Jordan. They are the most numerous recent migrant community of the country, which also accommodates earlier arrivals of Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Ethiopians, Sudanese, Yemenis and muslim migrants from the former Soviet Union.
In the 70’s and 90’s refugees from Palestine, Lebanon and Kuwait even moved their newspapers to their new home Jordan. The audiovisual law, adopted in 2002 was hailed for proving for media freedom in the country.
However, “apart from occasional one-off articles, most migrant voices are totally unheard”, the report divulges.
“Syrian refugees in Jordan are only given voice in Jordanian media when a celebrity (like Angelina Jolie) or a UN official makes a public visit”.
Left without a forum, Syrians are trying, with the assistance of some European governments, Japan and the U.S., to organise professional training for journalists and to give them platform from which migrants’ needs and worries could reach the general public both in Jordan and worldwide.
Syrian media based outside Jordan as well as Syrian freelance journalists working for Turkish and European media outlets, are actively covering migration issues. Still they focus on the war in Syria rather than on the daily lives and the conditions in which the migrants remain in Jordan.
The weekly programs and the daily bulletins broadcast on several Jordanian radio stations and posted online, are not enough even to inform the refugees on their rights, let alone to convey their message to the Jordanian society, the analysis indicates.
The efforts of Syrian journalists and the handful of media, which circulates their stories “is nothing more than a drop in an ocean” for a country where nearly one fifth of the population are Syrian refugees.
How Does the Media on Both Sides of the Mediterranean Report on Migration (Summary)
Chapter on Jordan: Lost Voices in a Land Built on Migration
Covering Migration Creates Serious Challenges for Media Professionals, New Study Reveals
Report: Migration Coverage in Tunisia Fails to Go Beyond Tales of Woe
Morocco: Backsliding on Media Coverage of Migration
Migrants: Still Invisible for the Media in Algeria