AFCN Organised a Roundtable Discussion about Fact-Checking in Jordan
February 27, 2023
The Arab Fact-checkers Network (AFCN) from ARIJ, hosted on a roundtable funded by the European Union – Jordan, on Monday 27 February 2023, 50+ guests from fact-checking organisations/initiatives, freelance fact-checkers, civil society organisations, media organisations, independent journalists, academics and tech startups, at the Intercontinental Hotel-Amman, to discuss challenges and recommendations for developing fact-checking in Jordan.
Moderated by Rawan Damen, Director-General of ARIJ, the four-hour roundtable was opened by the representers of the EU in Jordan, Angela Martini, deputy Head of Mission, Luis Miguel Bueno (EU Arabic Spokesperson for the MENA), and Anouar El Anouni the disinformation Expertise. Then Damen resumed the presentation by introducing the network, its achievements, its members and how it contributed to supporting fact-checking in the Arab region, then participants were distributed to several groups for discussion.
Each group discussed in the first part of the discussion, the challenges of fact-checking in Jordan and the type of assistance required to combat mis/disinformation, some of which stated that the “right of access to information” law in Jordan is ineffective and lack of information by the spokesmen Government leads to rumours, also they stated the technological challenges as existing tools to verify information are less performing than tools that helps in fact-checking, also these tools aren’t available in Arabic, in addition to that the lack of pre-publication fact-checking in media organisations contributed significantly to the spread of mis/disinformation in Jordan.
The participants in the second part of the discussion reviewed proposed solutions and recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the European Union’s role in the face of mis/disinformation, and how the AFCN can further contribute to combating the spread of mis/disinformation in Jordan and the region.
The participants noted the importance of networking through the AFCN with fact-checking organisations/initiatives, independent fact-checkers and media organisations to integrate fact-checking within their workflow, Improving the Kingdom’s media education curricula, as they are not sufficiently robust in their current form, ad academics stressed the importance of introducing fact-checking course into educational curricula.
The session concluded with a presentation of the recommendations and emphasis on the importance of implementing their potential. This roundtable came after 5 fact-checking workshops organised by AFCN in media organisations in Amman during February 2023, like Roya, Al Mamlaka, Alrai and Sowt.
The Arab Fact-Checkers Network (AFCN) is a grassroots network that works towards fostering transparent and impartial fact-checking in the Arab region. This network is a product of the mis/disinformation spikes amid the unprecedented times of COVID-19 worldwide.