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University of Petra Hosts Minister of State for Media Affairs

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On Thursday, the Faculty of Mass communication at University of Petra hosted the Minister of State for Media Affairs, the official spokesman for the government, Eng. Sakhir Dodin.
During the symposium organized at the Nabataean Theater under the title "The Role of Media Spokespersons in Government Institutions and Media Education", Dodin said that the government seeks to empower media spokesmen in ministries and government institutions through rehabilitation and training as well as to enhance their presence in their institutions with the aim of delivering information to the media and the public with speed and accuracy.
Moreover, Dodin added that there is a tendency to technically link media spokesmen in ministries and institutions with the Minister of State for Media Affairs in order to unify the government's official narrative, especially on issues related to the state's public policy.
During the seminar, which was moderated by the Vice President of the University, Dr. Tayseer Abu Arja, and Professor of Digital Media at the Faculty of Mass Communication, Dr. Ziad Al-Shakhanbeh, in the presence of a number of faculty members, the Minister of State for Media Affairs touched on the most important factors that help the media spokesperson or official spokesperson in performing his work. For instance, having a good linguistic score that helps him to communicate his messages clearly and comprehensively to the public, and to have sufficient knowledge and follow-up of the work's details of his institution or the field he represents, in addition to having the ability to persuade, and having full knowledge with the culture, customs and traditions of his society.
Dodin also pointed out the importance of the media spokesperson being close to the decision-making position in his institution or the entity he represents; to be aware of the details of work, decisions and policies, and vigilant to document information in the form of media messages for immediate use and in case of need.
With respect to the successful media discourse of the spokesperson, Dodin explained that there are factors that guarantee his success; to provide information transparently and clearly, and for the spokesperson not to rely in his speech on analysis, to interact with all media outlets and be cautious to answer their questions, emphasizing the importance of correcting wrong information if it is circulated, and accepting criticism and any other people's opinions.
Furthermore, Dodin emphasized that avoiding rumors and misinformation is done by providing accurate and correct information to the media and citizens, pointing out that the government seeks to enhance the flow of information by developing a law to ensure the right of access to information, which is now with Parliament. "We hope that its proposed amendments will constitute a qualitative leap in this field".
Dodin pointed out that the government is working to strengthen the work of media units in government institutions and to develop their tools with the latest technological methods. It contributes to empowering media spokesmen in them, to reach a strong official narrative that clarifies the mechanism of work of ministries and government institutions.
On the dissemination of media and information literacy concepts, Doudin called attention to the government's endeavor - through the executive plan of the National Initiative for the Dissemination of Media and Information Literacy for the years (2020-2023) - to improve society's ability to deal with information and news sources, and digital technology tools.
Dodin indicated that the plan aims to integrate media and information literacy concepts and skills into the Jordanian educational system, within university and school curricula, and to include them in the activities of cultural, youth and civil society institutions.
He noted that the government has a tendency to teach the media education curriculum in schools in the next academic year, in addition to making this curriculum a mandatory and core course in universities.
Beside that, Dodin pointed out that the government is working in partnership with the Jordan Media Institute to train teachers and faculty members in universities on curricula related to media and information education in order to contribute in promoting a critical thinking culture, to verify information and facts among students and to distinguish between news and rumors that may affect social cohesion. It sometimes harms the country's reputation politically, economically and touristically.
According to Dodin, the government is also working on designing training programs in partnership with a number of associations and institutions, such as the Royal Society for Health Awareness, UNICEF and EBRD, to train journalism and media graduates in Jordanian universities on media, health awareness, campaign management, and tourism media.
The Minister of State for Media Affairs called on the Faculty of Mass Communication students participating in the symposium to broadcast positive messages and avoid negative ones when circulating information related to the country, pointing out that Jordan constitutes 70 percent of Arab digital content". This is a reason to be proud of our youth, who possess distinguished skills in using modern technology tools". He listened to questions and suggestions from a number of students about the importance of providing information to the media, countering rumors, enhancing the role of the official media, and providing training opportunities for graduates of Journalism and Media faculties in media institutions.