Al-Ghad replied to the angry e-mail I sent after this story was published. In that letter I complained about the story and threatened to boycott their publication. They sent me a copy of the formal apology that was released today and published in the paper.
In addition, they sent some news items published today as well, including a copy of the condemnation by Jordanian officials of terrorist attacks on Iraqi civilians and a copy of the letter that the father of the alleged bomber sent to the paper. The e-mail, which was signed by the editor-in-chief of the paper, Imad al-Hmoud, also included a news item about the arrest of the Jordanian journalist that wrote the inflammatory article. Some of the files he attached were slightly different from what was published today but basically the same as the articles I linked to earlier today.
I have to admit I was pleased that they got back with me and acknowledged my complaint. It makes me less angry. It is a good sign. It shows that they have learned a lesson and learned it the hard way. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this not one of the biggest media scandals in the history of the kingdom?
hubby, your questions are very valid. these were the questions that should’ve been asked in the very begining by everyone.
I hate seeing journalists jailed as well and I saw it happen a few times while in Jordan. This might simply count as being held for extended questioning, although he was apparently charged. I’m not sure how that’s being justified/explained. But word from at least the Beirut press is that the guy is now free. Someone should get a hold of him and find out the real story on this.
Did he just make one of the biggest lapses in journalistic judgment, was he put up to it by ‘outside’ forces or did he report the truth — only with a very unnecessary slant?
Congratulations Natasha. Hopefully this will help set an example for the future. The point is to learn from the mistake and not to merely protest it and jail the person. I guess in an attempt to create free media a few eggs need to get broken and this is one of those times.
Well Iyas, print media is not all state-controlled. The government owns around 50% of Al-Rai and 30% of al-Dustour and a very small share of Al-Arab al-youm. Also a high number of the weekly papers are almost fully independent. The reason the media in Jordan is in a bad shape, in my opinion, is the lack of training for journalists.
Thank you Ross. According to some news reports, the journalist was released. I did not think arresting him was a good idea. I guess he was just taken for questioning after he caused a national scandal, then was released later.
Kudos to you for confronting the publication. And I am very glad to hear that they responded to you. I think its crazy that the journalist in question was arrested as well. Though I suppose things are different in many ways in Jordan versus the US.
We never had independent journalism in Jordan to have scandals. We had stories about “scandal” like the recent Majd Al Shamayleh’s bank loans case. We had a few writers that drew attention to some controversial issues or expressed an opinion contrary to that of “powers that be” and suffered consequences. In addition, our media solely relies on news agencies for their material. Media scandals require having correspondents that report original news.
On the other hand, I must commend you on your persistence and give credit for Al Ghad for replying.