Media Published Reports on "Israeli Party" in Parliament Without Inquiring About Meaning

AKEED, Amman

Media outlets have recently published a video on advice given by Abdulkarim Dughmi, candidate for speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, to a fellow MP in the same electoral district and member of the same tribe, Muflih Khaza"leh, when the latter ran for the post of second deputy to the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament. Dughmi told Khaza"leh: "I wish you could withdraw so that the result would be settled in the first round. I fear for you as the "Israeli party" might not want you."

Media outlets quickly reported the news about "Dughmi"s advice" about the "Israeli party" without going back to the person who gave this "advice." These outlets left the door wide open to speculation and interpretations, which might lead readers to believe that there is an "Israeli party" inside Parliament without confirming whether it exists or not.

In a telephone call made by the Jordanian Media Credibility Monitory (AKEED) with MP Abdulkarim Dughmi, AKEED asked MP Dughmi about the meaning of the "Israeli party," which was mentioned in his advice to fellow MP Khaza"leh to withdraw his nomination. Dughmi answered: "You may interpret it the way you want. I do not wish to explain further." He added: "No media outlet had asked me before you about what I mean by the "Israeli party." Yet, they have published a lot of news about this." Meanwhile, Khaza"leh denied reports in some media outlets about withdrawing at the request of Dughmi, without asking him about the reason for his withdrawal.

In a telephone call made by the Jordanian Media Credibility Monitor (AKEED) with MP Muflih Khaza"leh on the reason for quitting his nomination for the position of second deputy to the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament and whether this was based on advice by fellow MP Dughmi, Khaza"leh told AKEED: "I quit my nomination because fellow MP Issa Khashashneh ran for the same post. He is a member of Tajdid Bloc, to which I belong. I was afraid that our parliamentary bloc might be dissolved; therefore, I withdrew my nomination for the post of second deputy to the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament."

Khaza"leh added: "I did not take the advice of fellow MP Dughmi on the "Israeli party." Nor did I understand what he meant by this expression. I was surprised, like many other MPs, by what he said."

When publishing the news, the media used a headline, which suggested that there was an answer to the question. However, the content of the news did not contain any explanation of the "Israeli party." AKEED monitored a number of news headlines that refer to something that does not exist in the body of the news. The following are some of these headlines:

What Does Dughmi Mean by "Israeli Party"?

What Did Dughmi Mean by Israeli Party During Parliament Session?

What Does Dughmi Mean by "Israeli Party"?

Israeli Party in Parliament

What Does Dughmi Mean by "Betraying Israeli Party" in His Words About Withdrawing Nomination?

What Did Dughmi Mean by "Israeli Party" in Parliament?

Obviously, media outlets found in the sentence that Dughmi said appealing material for publication. Indeed, this is the case. However, media outlets here repeated the common professional flaw of lack of follow-up, which is the key means for providing complete information to readers instead of leaving them before a sensitive issue with brief information that causes a great deal of confusion and opens the door for speculation.

If the aim of publishing quickly practically results in providing partial information, there is nothing that prevents later follow-up to present the necessary clarifications and indeed produce a new story, which could prove to be more interesting than the original news. Most probably, this would have happened in this case. We, too, are aware that we have not offered a lot of information here. Our job in AKEED is confined to monitoring products of media outlets, which have the mandate of investigation and addressing questions to all relevant parties to obtain the information that they want. 

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