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Gov’t announces media literacy task force to tackle false news

By JT - Apr 27,2019 - Last updated at Apr 27,2019

AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat on Saturday said the government was working on a media-literacy task force to train students on how to use social media and counter false news.

Ghunaimat, during a “safe technology” training session organised in cooperation with the Al Ahliyya Amman University, said that the media literacy project is one of the government’s main priorities.

She stated that the project is being implemented at a critical time when there is an increase in the volume of rumours and false news affecting people’s values, convictions and ideas, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The minister added that the government seeks to create a professional, critical and objective media environment in the Kingdom, capable of facing a “tsunami” of information, constituted mostly of rumours and inaccuracies.

Ghunaimat said that the government believes both official and unofficial media outlets have an important role to play, Petra reported.

The government plans to amend several pieces of legislation to provide more freedom for the dissemination of information. It will also work on strengthening media institutions, while respecting their authority as a performance monitor to provide constructive criticism.

She stressed the importance of cooperation between various social institutions, such as associations and political parties in facing problems and finding solutions.

Ghunaimat also addressed the decentralisation project, stating that the government is in the process of reviewing outcomes to pinpoint and overcome challenges associated with the project.

The minister said that the government has raised the financial limit on municipal bids to JD2 million, in addition to increasing the total 2019 budget for municipalities from JD227 million to JD305 million, in order to support the decentralisation experiment.

The minister added that the government launched a national discussion on the decentralisation law to include citizens in the decision making process and in determining their regions’ priorities to improve services and establish development projects.

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