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‘Gov’t to launch independent public service broadcasting channel’

By Laila Azzeh - May 04,2015 - Last updated at May 04,2015

AMMAN — The government is planning to launch an independent TV channel, replacing previous plans to open a third channel affiliated with the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (JRTVC).

The third channel was supposed to broadcast youth, family and drama programmes. 

“All I can say is that the Jordan Radio and Television Law was amended to enable the government to establish a private TV station,” JRTVC Director General Ramadan Rawashdeh told The Jordan Times on Monday.

Noting that the new channel will offer public service broadcasting (PSB), he said it will be fully independent from the JRTVC.

According to international media outlets and UNESCO, PSB refers to broadcasting made, financed and controlled by the public for the benefit of the public rather than for commercial interest, making it neither commercial nor state-owned.

Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani, who is also minister of state for media affairs and JRTVC chairman, was not available to comment on the editorial line or the funding of the new channel.

The government will reportedly allocate JD10 million over a two-year period to fund the channel.

However, former minister of state for media affairs and communications Samih Maaytah highlighted that regardless of the label and the legal framework governing the new channel, the media and editorial policy is all that matters.

“We cannot judge if the channel will contribute to media freedoms before knowing which direction it will take and the size of government control over it,” Maaytah, who chairs the Jordan Press Foundation, told The Jordan Times.

He noted that experience has shown that all details and anticipation surrounding a new project vanish when it is applied on ground.

“We know that there is no fully objective TV station, but we hope that this one will have an open political platform,” Maaytah said.

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