85% of locally Published News about “Stepping on Israeli Flag in Union Complex” Adopted the Israeli Narrative

Foreign Ministry: Jordan asking Israel to “improve relations” didn’t happen.

Akeed - Rasha Salama

In covering the "Minister of State for Media Affairs, Jumana Ghunaimat, Steps on Israeli Flag at Entrance of Unions Complex” incident by local media outlets and websites; 85% of the published reports (29 out of 34) have actually quoted the content and interpretations of the Israeli media.

Several websites based their news on information taken from Israeli newspapers like “Yedioth Ahronoth” and “The Times of Israel”, Israeli analysts’ posts and tweets, as well as other citations that are commonly referred to as the "Hebrew Media" – a generic term that was even integrated within published captions and headlines; such as "Hebrew Media: Majali Clarifies Ghunaimat Incident on Monday”.

Adopting the Israeli narrative was spotted in addressing the "Jumana Ghunaimat Ignores an Israeli Journalist" incident – where a journalist contacted Ghunaimat through Whatsapp to request a statement on the Union Complex flag topic.

As for the news about Israel calling Jordan's ambassador in for clarifications, the local narrative was almost entirely taken from Israeli press reports. This was also the case with reports that covered the news about Jordan asking Israel to “improve relations", which completely matched the stand of Israeli media outlets without including any of the verifications that were made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this particular matter.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates spokesperson, Majed Qatarneh, told Akeed that "There is no such thing as a request to improve relations in diplomatic affairs, and that it has not happened," adding that the Israeli narrative is but an “Interpretation of the Foreign Ministry's statement which conveyed that Jordan’s respect to its peace treaty with Israel."

Qatarneh called on journalists to abide by his official statement –even when referring to reports published by the “Hebrew Media”– in order to maintain balance in reporting the news. He also noted that "It is professionally wrong to solely adopt the Israeli narrative."

Few were the news reports that conveyed the Jordanian narrative through statements made by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which came in response to its Israeli counterpart; where a report surfaced –locally written in favor of an Arab media outlet– providing insight into a range of Jordanian views that concluded the expectation of an upcoming diplomatic “crisis”[z1] .

 

Following the meeting between Prime Minister, Omar Razzaz, and a number of Trade Unions’ representatives, a media outlet quoted a former government personnel who stated that “unlike what’s being circulated across the media, Jordan has not receive a Memorandum of Protest" – this was published without specifying the reason behind keeping its source anonymous.

Websites merely published locally-associated details through a single frame of reference: The way in which the Lower House of Representatives reacted to the incident; where some members of the parliament (MPs) commended and even praised what happened.  Some websites have yet ignored discussing the incident or addressing as being a fact – which accordingly resulted in making a specific MP as the anchor of the news.

Other articles quoted the President of the Jordanian Dental Association, Ibrahim Al-Tarawneh, saying that "the Israeli flag will be printed on the entrances of all trade unions"; considering this as an expression of their stand on the Israeli resentment of Ghunaimat.

While many of the local websites disregarded the issued statements of the Foreign Ministry, Arab and international ones maintained the balance by providing the points of view of both parties.

 
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