Children of Jordan – اطفال الاردن
Enhancing the quality of reporting on child rights and protection issues
It is a project launched by UNICEF in partnership with the Jordan Media Institute in light of the findings of a report on journalistic practices in covering child protection issues, which was prepared by NCFA in cooperation with UNICEF in 2017 based on a survey on a sample comprising journalists and media practitioners.
The role of the media:
The report highlighted the role of the media in reducing violence against children as follows:
According to survey findings regarding respondents’ extent of knowledge on child-related protection issues, results were as follows:
Makani Project for Journalists
The Jordan Media Institute, in cooperation with UNICEF, launched the Makani Project for Journalists in 2018 with a view to:
In 2018, the institute, in cooperation with UNICEF, invested in the institutional capacities of media practitioners by developing a curriculum on child rights-based journalism for the master’s program. The curriculum serves as a comprehensive reference for any journalist interested in child rights reporting as it encompasses everything journalists need in order to create a system based on the rights and best interests of children. The curriculum was incorporated into the Jordan Media Institute’s main program and has been offered to three other public universities. It is designed to help shape future journalists with adequate knowledge of ethical reporting before they begin their career path (which is a huge gap now). In 2018/2019, more than 70 MA students completed the Child-Based Journalism module.
In this respect, a Child-Right Based Journalism Award was announced in the year 2018 to encourage outstanding reporting on child’s rights. The motivation behind the award was to create a competitive atmosphere that prompts journalists to raise the level of their reporting towards ethical recognition by their peers; encourage qualitative coverage of children’s issues and their rights; have a positive impact on society by reducing violence against children; and build a child-friendly culture in Jordan. The award domain covers printed press, news websites, radio, podcast, TV, video journalism and multimedia. A qualified panel jury reviewed all applications and 10 journalists were awarded in the first round.
Of the 32 eligible journalists specialized in child rights journalism, 16 junior journalists were mentored, who consequently produced ten reports / groups on relevant topics and had entries for the award. Three of the trainees were among the winners. Following up on the participants, it was clear that their approach to children’s issues had transformed into a child rights-based approach. This shift has been clearly demonstrated in their work and even in their personal posts on social media.
Moreover, the “Makani for Journalists” Facebook page was established in April 2018 with the aim of creating a virtual platform at which journalist can share information, communicate, debate and fiercely criticize published articles related to child protection. The page has 754 followers and its posts reached 8,111 followers. An average of 5 original posts is published each week, in addition to sharing news stories related to children’s rights. An average of 15 news outlets used the press releases published on the side-lines of certain activities such as seminars, training courses or events. Not less than 225 stories were published in various media outlets.
Moreover, a seminar was conducted covering a variety of topics including the need for a comprehensive inter-sectoral plan to protect children from violence and other social initiatives for combating violence against children. The seminar, attended by 375 journalists and 12 media students, provided journalists with the opportunity to communicate directly with 48 officials from the relevant departments which gave them access to knowledge and contacts needed to prepare future reports. One journalist spoke of children convicted in terrorism-related cases. Another spoke about efforts being made to eliminate bullying in schools. The broadcasting of four online seminars (webinars) increased the number of Makani journalists’ followers on Facebook to 250.