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In their eyes: future journalists reflect on their meetings with Mr. Daoud Kuttab

Future of our Journalism

On Tuesday March 1st 2015, and in the prism of the Future of our Journalism “Mustaqbal Sahafatuna” project; ARDD team hosted journalist Mr. Daoud Kuttab, the founder of Ammannet and Radio Al Balad in ARDD’s offices in Zarqa as part of the series of journalism mentoring sessions. The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development, as part of the Civic Initiatives Support Program (USAID CIS) implemented by Family Health International (FHI360).

Mr. Kuttab began his career in journalism as a linguistic editor in Al Fajr newspaper, where he wrote his first article. Following that he contributed to the establishment of Al Ameen News Agency and Al Quds educations Television. In 2000, Mr. Kuttab established Ammannet, the first Arab online radio. Currently, Mr. Kuttab heads the Community Media Network, a non-profit that runs Radio al Balad and Ammannet’s website and Ben Media for Community Media in Jordan and Palestine.

Mr. Kuttab spoke at the beginning of the session about the various media channels and the differences between them, such as state media, and privately owned media institutions and community media which is concerned with the issues of the local community. Mr. Kuttab also gave the participants advice on becoming a successful journalist where he said “a successful journalist is an educated and aware individual who understands the nature of the readers and listeners, and analyses each piece of news and validates its references; to avoid falling in the trap of publicising false news."

In his talk about media, Mr. Kuttab said that each media channel has its advantages and it audience, he also praised the role of community media and independent journalists, adding that social media platforms offer a golden opportunity to this generation, stressing that whoever makes news using any media platform should adhere the ethics of journalism: integrity, neutrality, and differing point of views, as he commented saying “[in media] survival is for the fittest.”

When asked about the organisation and monitoring of the media in light of the increase in media channels; Mr. Kuttab said that to avoid the misuse of authority and arbitrariness in decision making, it is better for this organisation to be self-proclaimed by those who work in the field, adding that monitoring and censorship is a double edged sword, where strict monitoring may result in compromising the freedom of speech and expression, and if left unmonitored would be chaotic.

Mr. Kuttab also discussed what he feels are the best and worst parts of journalism, he said that “protocol media” is perhaps the worst of the media, and the passion within the youth and young journalists is the best of the media.

Mr. Kuttab concluded his speech noting that there is no magical trick to get work done in the media; a professional journalist senses the change and is curious enough to make it happen.

After the session, one of the participants posted to her Facebook profile saying “it’s not a shame not knowing what you want, however you have to determine how you know it, one must not fear the experience, but go through it courageously.”

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